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Almond-Polenta Tart
with Caramelized Pears & Cherries

Almond-Polenta Tart with Caramelized Pears & CherriesAn elegant dessert tart with a polenta and almond crust topped with sweet cherries and caramelized pears, garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche.

Recipe Ingredients:

Almond-Polenta Tart:
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

Caramelized Fruit:
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

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  2. 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.
  3. Use floured fingers to press dough evenly into pan. Sprinkle center with almonds, and press almonds into dough.
  4. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool, and remove tart shell from pan.
  5. 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.
  6. When the caramel is deep golden brown, add pears and cherries, and stir gently, coating with caramel. Cool slightly.
  7. 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.