There are lots of things going on in my kitchen right now, fruity buttery flaky yummy things...
I have had these cute little mini tart pans in my kitchen for far to long with out using them so I decided to combine my obsession with dark cherries and pair them with something I am equally obsessed with - marzipan! I've said it before and gosh darn it I'm gonna say it again American bakeries need to use more marzipan!
You can use it in fillings, to line crusts and desserts, on petite fours instead of gross plastic fondant - need I say more?!
This is a kinda mad mash up of recipes from around the web, I kinda tweaked the crust recipe which I prefer because you can use your hands to form the dough to the pan instead of having to worry about rolling out dough and then trying to place it in there (which, let's be honest is always a hot mess) also with this recipe, it isn't necessary to place anything on top of the crust for blind baking.
Marzipan Pear Tart with Sour Cherries
makes 5 mini tarts or one large (9 inch) tart
While you're baking you might want to start poaching the pears and soaking the cherries, you can use canned pears as well, just make sure to blot them dry before placing on the tart.
For the crust...
1½ cups all-purpose flour
5 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
11 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1.Position one oven rack to middle, and move the second rack to the top slot. Preheat to 350 degrees F.
2.In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Add melted butter and combine to form dough.
3.Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. With your hands press dough down to spread on bottom and onto the rims of the pan.
Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes, or until crust turns golden brown. When ready remove crust from oven and let sit to cool. Leave oven on.
For the Filling...
6 ounces (170 g) almond paste
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp flour
6 TBS butter, salted or unsalted, cubed, at room temperature
1 large egg, plus one egg white, at room temperature
a few drops almond extract (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons rum, Calvados, or kirsch (I used Cherry kirsch)
1.In a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the almond paste with the sugar and flour, until smooth. Some almond pastes may be drier than others. If yours is dry, just mix until the almond paste is finely-broken up.
2.Gradually beat in the butter, until smooth, then beat in the egg and the egg white, the almond extract, and the liquor.
3.Spread the almond filling evenly over the tart shell(s).
4.Fan the pears out evenly over the almond filling, then press them in slightly.
5.Bake the tart for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the almond filling between the pears has browned.
6.Cool slightly before serving, or serve at room temperature. Glaze, as desired.
For the poached pears...
1 quart water
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 Bosc pears; peeled, cored, and quartered
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1. In a large saucepan, heat the water and sugar until warm and the sugar is dissolved. Add any of the additions that you wish.
2. Slide in the pears and cover with a round of parchment paper, with a small hole cut in the center.
3. Keep the liquid at a very low boil and simmer the pears until cooked through, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the pears.
4. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in their liquid.
For the cherries...
1 cup dark sweet cherries, pitted
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp cherry kirsch
Let soak for at least 30 min. Place in spaces around pears OR if you ran out of room (like me) you can serve them on the side as a garnish.