I was super excited to see Orange Almond Tart on the February lineup of French Friday with Dorie! Until, I found out it contained oranges. I love, love orange flavor and it is one of my favorites in desserts, but I don't eat oranges themselves. I'll drink the juice, use the zest, and even eat mandarin oranges, but can't bring myself to eat an actual orange. It's totally a texture thing, I just can't get past the pulp.
So, I decided to use one of Dorie's Bonne Idees and make a Pear Almond Tart. Again, super excited to see that I could use canned pears but decided to try something new and poach the pears. The poaching part was easy, removing the core from a poached pear, not so much! I love making Dorie's pate sablee and chose to press it into the tart pan rather than rolling it out. So much easier! I baked the tart shell too long during the blind baking phase (due to a 'shortcut' I thought I had discovered and later decided, while easier, results in the edges of the tart browning too much). It was still delicious though.
I have learned to check and make sure I have all the required ingredients before starting a recipe and did so with this one as well. I pulled a small plastic bag out of my pantry and was pleasantly surprised that I had almond flour on hand for the almond cream. Fast forward several hours when I have already mixed the first ingredients in the food processer and discover that my almond flour is actually cream of wheat (leftover from the Caramel Topped Semolina Cake). On the verge of having a complete screaming fit, I realized I could just use almonds. So I threw in a cup of slivered almonds and blitzed away. I then remembered that almond flour is actually a mixture of almonds and flour (it had been a long day). It was too late and I just went with it.
I fully expected this to be a complete disaster but it wasn't! I like the almond cream with the sweetness of the pear. Unfortunately, it wasn't much to look at but completely the cook's fault. In retrospect, I wish I had made this with oranges because I'm sure that it was fantastic, pulp and all!