A week ago, we were in Aspen walking around town. It started snowing like crazy, and we were totally covered in a matter of minutes! Our valley went from mid-50’s and sunshine, with only a few little patches of snow, to a full on winter wonderland. The snow finally stopped yesterday. I think I heard somewhere that this is a new record for November- the most snowfall ever.
When it’s cold out, I’m almost always chilled, so you can bet I warmed up the best way I know how- baking! Every year our landlord sends us several bags of Wisconsin cranberries. Pears seem to be the only fruit that’s ripe and edible at the grocery store right now, so we have plenty of those on hand. And when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try.
A tender, crumbly, sweet crust cradles the lightly spiced almond filling, which is topped with sliced pears and a generous amount of cranberries. The whole thing just tastes like late Autumn, holidays, and warmth. I baked this intending to serve it as a dessert, though we have enjoyed eating it for breakfast as well.
Don’t be intimidated by tarts! This recipe is a nice place to start since you simply push the tart dough into and up the sides of the pan, rather than rolling it out. While both tarts and pies are delicious, I think that tarts can be a fun update to your holiday dessert table. I’ll be posting more great holiday recipes this week and the rest of the holiday season, so stay tuned. Happy baking!
How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:
Cranberry Pear Tart
Adapted from Some the Wiser
- TART DOUGH:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 2 large egg yolks
- ALMOND FILLING:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¾ cup ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon rum
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2-3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- For the crust:
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt.
- Add the cold butter pieces and pulse until small crumbs form.
- Add the two egg yolks and pulse until a dough starts to form. You may need to invert the the mixture into a bowl and gently knead until it comes together. If you're flour is super dry and your dough is still not coming together, add some additional beaten egg yolk, a little at a time.
- Press the dough into and up the sides of a fluted 9" tart pan. Place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or until the dough has firmed up and is well chilled.
- Prick the tart shell with a fork several times and press a buttered piece of foil onto it. Bake for 25 minutes. The shell will not have any color.
- Meanwhile make the filling:
- Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Add the ground almonds, flour, and cornstarch.
- Beat in the egg, making sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Stir in the vanilla, rum, and cinnamon.
- To assemble the tart, spread the almond filling in the tart shell. You may not need all of it- you only want the fill the tart about ⅓ full. Otherwise, if you add a lot of fruit, the filling with bake up and overflow. I learned this the hard way and ended up with a not so pretty tart.
- Top with the fruit and bake 40-50 minutes until the almond cream is golden brown and set.
Note: This recipe was adapted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, decrease the egg yolks to 1 for the crust. Baking times may also vary slightly.