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Caramelized Pear & Walnut Tart

One of my favorite things to do with fresh pears is to make an elegant tart. Slices of fresh pear and walnuts are the basis of this recipe, but it’s the spiced-sugar topping that makes it special.

Makes one 9-inch tart

What You Need For The Crust:

  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 3 tablespoons water

What You Need For The Filling:

  • 4 Bartlett pears
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unbleached sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

What you do:

  1. For the crust, place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, and pulse several times to combine. Add the margarine and water, and continue to pulse until the mixture comes away from the sides of the container to form a ball.
  2. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan, preferably one with a removable bottom. Using your fingers, press the dough to evenly cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the pan on a large cookie sheet and set aside.
  3. For the filling, begin by peeling each pear. Then cut pears in half and remove the cores and stems. Rub the outer surface of the pears with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Then cut the pears from end to end into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the pear slices in a fan pattern, in two layers, over the tart crust, and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
  4. In a small bowl, place the remaining ingredients, stir well to combine, and sprinkle mixture over the pears to thoroughly coat. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until the pears are tender and the crust is golden brown and flaky. Cool before removing the tart ring and cutting into 8 pieces.