with Caramelized Pears & Cherries
An elegant dessert tart with a polenta and almond crust topped with sweet cherries and caramelized pears, garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup polenta or finely ground cornmeal
1/2 cup sliced almonds, plus more for garnish
4 firm red pears
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned sweet cherries, well drained
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche or sour cream for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
- For Almond-Polenta Tart: Cream together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour and polenta, and mix just until blended. Scrape dough into prepared pan.
- Use floured fingers to press dough evenly into pan. Sprinkle center with almonds, and press almonds into dough.
- Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool, and remove tart shell from pan.
- For Caramelized Fruit: Peel pears, and cut each one into 12 wedges, discarding cores. Toss pears in lemon juice. Place sugar in a large skillet, and turn heat to high. Let sugar caramelize, supervising closely and swirling pan occasionally for even color.
- When the caramel is deep golden brown, add pears and cherries, and stir gently, coating with caramel. Cool slightly.
- Cut into wedges and top each piece with caramelized fruit, a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream and a sprinkle of almonds.
Makes 12 servings.
Recipe provided courtesy of www.nationalcherries.com and www.Almondboard.com, through ECES, Inc., Electronic Color Editorial Services.