Crostata di Pere e Mandorle

CrostateCiao! For this week I will introduce an Italian recipe of a Pear and Almond Tart :) I got this recipe from an Italian book that I bought while in Rome:

Torte et Crostate

Although the entire book is in Italian, it is fairly easy to translate and it offers basic yet delicious instructions on how to prepare pasta frolla (shortbread crust) and pasta brisée (pastry crust) from scratch! So let’s start.

First we will prepare the pasta frolla.  Now there is two ways to do this, by hand or by using a KitchenAid mixer. You will need the following ingredients for the dough:

250 g (8.8 oz) white flour

65 g (2.3 oz)white sugar

150 g (5.3 oz) cold butter without salt chopped into little cubes

1 large egg

2 tablespoons of heavy cream

pinch of salt

By Hand

1. Mix flour, sugar and salt on top of the kitchen counter.

2. Then with your hands incorporate the butter (do not melt it but make sure it is not that hard) until you form crumbs.

3. Form a hole in the middle and add the egg and heavy cream. Mix until you create a uniform dough.

With KitchenAid mixer 

1. Add flour, sugar and salt and stir. Then incorporate the butter and mix at medium speed.

2. While stirring add the egg and heavy cream and then mix at medium speed until the dough is uniform.

3. Next roll the dough so it forms a 18 cm (7 inches) circle.To do this I use a silicone baking mat with measurements, which you can easily obtain at amazon for around $15 or more!

4. Once you have your dough you need to wrap it in clear plastic and leave it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. It will look like this after it comes out from the fridge:

Shortbread crust 1

5. Meanwhile spread butter on a 28 cm (11 inches) round tart pan with a loose bottom. Tip: to make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the pan, I use PAM’s butter flavor cooking spray and add a little bit of flour on top.

6. Once the dough comes out roll it to form a 33 cm (13 inches) circle and put it in the pan, it should look like this:

Shortbread crust 2

Keep in mind the thickness of the edge! Once again leave it in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

7. Now to cook the dough (which you will want to pre cook it before putting the filling) preheat your oven to 200°C (430°F) and cover the tart with aluminum foil, on top put dry beans and bake for 5 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 190° C ( 375°F) and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Shortbread crust 3

Your shortbread crust is ready! Now let’s do the filling. For this you will need the following ingredients:

Ingredients crostate

200 g (7 oz) white sugar

180 g (6.3 oz) soft butter without salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla

3 large eggs

300 g (10.5 oz) almond powder

2 tablespoons of white flour

2 pears

3 tablespoons of sliced almonds

With KitchenAid mixer  

1. Add sugar, butter and vanilla and mix at high-speed until you obtain a cream like texture.

2. While stirring add one egg at a time and then the almond powder and the flour. Make sure all ingredients are incorporated properly. Leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

3. Distribute on top of the crust (careful to not put too much filling because this recipe tends to puff).

4. Peel the pears and cut into 8 pieces each. Distribute them on top of the filling. Add the sliced almonds.

5. Bake the tart in the oven at 190° C ( 375°F) for 30-40 minutes.

It’s ready you can enjoy your dessert warm or at room temperature. Although this recipe does take some work and time. Don’t worry at the end it’s totally worth it. I prepared it for dinner with my friends and they all appreciated all my hard work :)

Hope you enjoyed this recipe!

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