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A simple tart yet oh so very elegant! Although the recipe calls for pastry flour, you may have fine success with all-purpose flour as well. The amount of flour may vary a bit but not by a significant amount.
- 8 ounces butter
- 13 ounces sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 ounce pastry flour
Tart and Filling
- 1⁄2 pate, sucrae recipe
- 3 3⁄4 ounces almonds, slivered, toasted
- 6 pears, Bosc, Anjou, poached in white wine, halved, peeled, and cored
- 8 ounces maytag blue cheese or 8 ounces pont reyes blue cheese
- 8 fluid ounces heavy cream
- 4 3⁄4 ounces sugar
- 2 eggs
- Pate Sucree:.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium speed using a paddle attachment, scraping down the bowl periodically, until smooth and light in color. Be careful not to overcream the mixture. Add the eggs and yolks gradually, scraping down the bowl and blending until smooth after each addition. Add the flour all at once and mix on low speed until just blended.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Scale the dough as desired. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling. The dough can be held under refrigeration or frozen.
- On a floured work surface, working in batches, roll out the pastry dough 1/8- to 1/4-in/3- to 6-mm thick. Cut out 12 circles 6-in/15-cm in diameter. Line 12 individual tart pans 5-in/13-cm in diameter with the dough. Trim any excess dough from the edges. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat an oven to 400°F/204°C Lay a small square of aluminum foil inside each tart pan and fill it with dried beans to weight the dough during baking. Blind bake the tarts 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 350°F/177°C and bake 5 more minutes. If the edges of the tart start to brown too quickly during the baking process, line the edges with aluminum foil. Once the crusts are finished baking, remove the foil and beans, prick the bottoms with a fork, and set them aside to cool, leaving them in their molds.
- Divide the almonds evenly and sprinkle into the bottom of each crust.
- Place one pear half on your work surface at a time. Working with your knife at a diagonal, slice each half crosswise into 1/4-in/6-mm slices. Arrange the slices of one pear half evenly over the almonds.
- Place the cheese in a food processor and mix until smooth. Add the cream, sugar, and eggs. Mix for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth. Scrape the bowl down periodically while mixing. Divide the mixture evenly over the pears in the crust, scraping the bowl out with a rubber spatula. Spread the mixture gently with a rubber spatula to make sure it covers everything fairly evenly.
- Bake the tarts in a 350°F/177°C oven for 35 minutes, or until set.
- Allow the tarts to cool slightly before removing them from the molds. Slice the tarts and serve them warm.