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Pear Almond Tart with Drunken Earl Grey Sauce
This recipe has been contributed by writer and journalist, David Leite, who has his own website called Leite's Culinaria - it is well worth a visit. There is no point in me telling you more about David here as he has produced a first class bio page of his own which tells you far more than I could cram in.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into inch dice
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups white wine
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons Earl Grey tea
3 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and halved

1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour  pepper



  • In food processor fitted with metal blade, pulse flour, sugar and salt several times.
  • Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg and vanilla and pulse until dough just forms a ball.
  • Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.


  • Bring all ingredients, except pears, to a boil in a large saucepan. Boil for 5 to 7 minutes. Strain and return liquid to pan.
  • Add pears, lower heat to medium and poach 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Remove to a plate to cool. Cut each pear half into 1/4 inch horizontal slices. Set aside.
  • Reduce remaining liquid to 3/4 cup. Set aside.


  • Combine almonds and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until mixture is finely ground; about 1 minute.
  • Add eggs, butter, almond extract and flour and process until smooth.


  • Place baking sheet on a rack set at lower third of oven and preheat to 350F (180C)
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Gently press down especially where sides meet bottom. Run the back of a knife along pan's top to remove excess dough.
  • Spread almond cream in shell. Slip a spatula under sliced pear halves and place on top, stem ends pointing toward center. Drag fingers along slices toward center to elongate pears and fill in tart.
  • Place tart on baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until almond cream has risen and is golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. To unmold, place pan on a large can, let ring drop and slide tart onto a serving platter.
  • To serve, drizzle poaching liquid on plates then place slices on top.

Serves 8 to 10