Gluten-Free Pear Almond Tart (With Pumpkin Pie Spice)

pear tart 11Before everyone becomes burned out on everything pumpkin pie spice flavored and scented near the end of this year’s pumpkin pie spice season, I have to post one more pumpkin pie spice recipe! This recipe is very delicious, and makes an elegant dessert: perfect for holiday gatherings! Full disclosure: I took this recipe from Epicurious.com, modified it a bit, as well as deglutenized it. It’s turned out perfectly every time I’ve made it. My friends and family LOVE this dessert!

I just want to note one thing about my modification. I added pumpkin pie spice to the filling in this recipe. Pumpkin pie spices are not all equal in quality and flavor. I’ve never made my own pumpkin pie spice mix (although it’s on my list of things to do), but I’m pretty certain home-made pumpkin pie spice is the best quality spice one can find. If one is short on time and decides to purchase pumpkin pie spice, choose the brand carefully. I’ve achieved the best results with Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice (ingredients: ground cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom), as opposed to other brands commonly found on grocery store shelves. If you use a common brand from a common grocery store, you may want to adjust the amount of pumpkin pie spice called for in the recipe upward, so that the flavor is more pronounced.

Another note: where it is called for in this recipe, almond flour cannot be substituted (the recipe is an almond tart, after all); however, the flour blends I use in this recipe my be replaced by 1 1/4 (or 156 grams) of all purpose gluten-free flour. If you decide to use all purpose gluten-free flour in this recipe, you can omit the tablespoon of chia seed (which does the same job as the xanthan gum in most brands of all purpose gluten-free flours).

Gluten-Free Pear Almond Pumpkin Pie Spice Tartpear tart 9

Pears

4 cups water
1 1/4 cups organic, unrefined sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 medium-size firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled

Crust

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tbls well-chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten
30 g (about 1/4 cup) blanched almond flour (NOT almond meal)
90g Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour
60 g Sweet (glutenous) rice flour
25 g Tapioca starch
25 g Arrowroot starch
1 tbsp ground white chia seed (or ground flax seed)

Almond Filling

40 g (about 2/3 cup) blanched almond flour (NOT almond meal)
1 tsp good quality (or home-made) pumpkin pie spice
1 tbls tapioca starch
7 tbls organic, unprocessed sugar
6 tbls unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
Powdered sugar (optional)

For Pears:

-Bring 4 cups water, sugar, and lemon juice to boil in large saucepan over medium-high
heat.
-Stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pears. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until
pears are tender, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes.
-Remove pears from heat, and cool in syrup.

For Crust:

-In a medium bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients.
-Using your hands or a pastry blender, cut the pieces of butter into the dry
ingredients, until the mixture looks like corn meal, with only a few larger pieces of
butter.

blending butter into pie crust
-Stir the egg yolk into the dough mixture, until the mixture forms into a ball (if
mixture is too dry, add cold water, 1/2 tbls at a time, until the mixture is moist
enough to form into a ball).

pie crust dough
-Flatten the ball of dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest for thirty
minutes in the refrigerator.

For Filling:

-Mix all the ingredients, EXCEPT for the powdered sugar, together until smooth.

Assembly:

-Remove dough from the refrigerator and let it warm to nearly room temperature.
-Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
-Lightly grease the removable bottom of a tart pan with butter.
-Flatten out dough; sprinkle both sides of the dough with rice flour.
-Place the dough between two pieces of wax paper, and roll into a 9 inch circle (I
place the wax paper on my silicone pastry mat to keep it from slipping while I roll
out the dough).
smoked peach pie j
-Using paper as aid, turn dough into the prepared tart pan; peel off paper.
-Press the dough into the pan and up the sides of the pan as needed; seal any cracks
in the dough.
pear almond tart

pear tart 4
-Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 10 minutes.
-Bake the crust until golden and the bottom is set, about 20 minutes.
pear tart 6
-With a fork, press down any bubbles that form in the crust during baking.
-Cool the crust.
-While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling.
-When the crust has cooled, spread the filling evenly over the bottom of the crust.
pear tart 7
-Stem three of the pears and cut each in half lengthwise; scoop out cores.
-Cut each half crosswise into thin slices.
-Gently press each pear half to fan slices but keep slices tightly overlapped.
-Using an apple slicer, core and cut the fourth pear into even slices.
-Form a pin wheel in the center of the tart with the sliced pears.
Pear tart
-Bake the tart at 350 degrees, until the filling starts to turn golden brown.
-Cool the tart.
-Push the bottom of the pan up, releasing it from the rim of the pan.
-Slide a cake lifter carefully and gently between the tart crust and the pan bottom,
and gently ease the tart onto a platter.
-Sprinkle the tart with powdered sugar.
pear tart 10

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