Very tasty, elegant and easy to put together! The tart is made with a cookie crust that is pressed into the pie pan. In lieu of making the crust, you could use already-made cookies: just crumble them finely and mix with the butter and press into the pan. There are several flavoring options here: almond extract and almonds; vanilla extract and walnuts or pecans; and coconut extract and dried coconut. Plus any combinations you come up with. Try to use pears that are ripe but not overly so as overly ripe pears will exude more liquid into the custard. If you are using a glass pie pan, reduce the oven temperature by 25ºF.
4 T unsalted butter, softened; or coconut oil, or a combination
1/4 c sugar
1 egg yolk
1 c flour; or a combination of wheat flour and almond flour
3/4 c heavy cream or yogurt or crème fraîche
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t almond extract or vanilla extract or coconut extract
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground cinnamon or ground nutmeg or ground cardamom
2 medium pears, peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 c ground or crumbled almonds or walnuts or pecans or shredded coconut
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Cream softened butter and sugar, either by hand or with an electric mixer. Add the egg yolk and beat until smooth. Using a fork stir in the flour until it is incorporated and crumbs form. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. For the filling, whisk the cream, sugar, flour, extract, salt, and spice until smooth and the flour and sugar are dissolved in the liquid.
4. Arrange sliced pears in the bottom of the crust, circular, linear, a jumble, up to you. Pour or scrape the custard mixture over the pears. Smooth out the top and make sure you cover up any recalcitrant pear slices. Sprinkle with ground or crumbled nuts.
5. If the filling is full to the brim, put the pie plate on a baking sheet. Otherwise put into oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the custard has set. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving, warm or at room temperature (it’s even good cold!).