Sweet ripe pears and creamy mascarpone pair up in our Pear & Almond-Mascarpone Tart for a decadent way to welcome 2023.
Serves 8 to 10
Puff Pastry Crust
1 egg yolk
1 sheet (about 200 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 cups slivered almonds
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 (450 g) tub mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup fine maple sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 ripe but firm Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut in 1/8-inch-thick slices
Toasted almonds, coarsely chopped (optional)
Puff Pastry Crust
Preheat oven to 400°F. In small bowl, combine egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. On lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry sheet. Using knife, cut ½-inch strip of dough around edges of pastry sheet. Brush pastry sheet with egg yolk mixture and arrange strips of dough around edges to make border. Brush pastry strips with egg yolk mixture. Prick surface of pastry with fork. Transfer pastry to parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Place baking sheet on wire rack; let cool.
Meanwhile, in bowl, combine almonds and maple syrup; toss to coat well. Spread over parchment paper-lined baking sheet. When Puff Pastry Crust is done baking, reduce oven to 350°F. Bake almonds, stirring several times during baking time, until well caramelized,
10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely.
In food processor, finely chop caramelized almonds until mixture forms a paste. In bowl, using electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip mascarpone cheese with maple sugar until smooth and creamy. Whisk in almond paste. Set aside in refrigerator. (Make ahead: Can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated overnight.)
In small saucepan, combine 1 cup water with sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add pears and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.
Drain pears and pat dry. On surface of cooled Puff Pastry Crust, spread reserved Almond-Mascarpone Cream, avoiding borders. Top cream layer with Pear Filling, overlapping slices for full coverage. Sprinkle with chopped toasted almonds, if using.
Always thaw frozen puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator. You know it’s ready to use when you can unfold it easily; if it starts to break, it’s still too cold. Wait a bit and try again.