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Hazelnut Pear Tart

No recipe image available.This wonderful fresh pear tart, with a hazelnut crust, is best eaten the day it's baked, although the dough can be prepared several days in advance.

Recipe Ingredients:

Hazelnut Pastry Dough
1/4 cup (1-ounce) hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
2 tablespoons ice water

Pear Filling:
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons crème fraîche
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
3 ripe firm pears
1 (9 1/2-inch) tart shell

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Hazelnut Pastry Dough: In a food processor, finely grind the hazelnuts and the sugar.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the hazelnut mixture, flour and salt. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the water. Mix until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball. Chill for 30 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough 1/4-inch thick. Line the tart shell with the dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line the tart shell with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove paper or foil and weights. Continue to bake until golden all over, about 10 minutes.
  5. For Pear Filling: Decrease the oven temperature to 325°F (160°C).
  6. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, and sugar. Add the cream, crème fraîche, cardamom and salt.
  7. Peel, core and slice the pears 1/8-inch thick. Arrange the pears in a circular pattern in the prebaked tart shell. Pour the custard over the pears until the tart is full. (There may be extra custard depending on the height of the sides of the tart shell.)
  8. Bake until the custard is almost completely set, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Makes 8 servings.