Every time a blog is written, I have my "editor" and "content controller" (aka, my husband) proof read before it is published.
Why am I telling you this? Because, if you are a long time reader of Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe, you know that my posts are....very girly and super duper...me talking. No man in their right mind would talk the way I write. My hopes are that with each post, the reader feels like she is sitting down having a cup of tea with me, chatting away and being silly (or serious at times). Which makes for a VERY funny time with my husband! He reads every single post out loud so that we can both feel the flow of the post and hear if anything doesn't make sense or sticks out like a sore thumb. Which means he has to verbally say everything I type!
Let me tell you! I love hearing him say things like, "Guuuurrrrrrrrrrrl, you don't even know!" and "Sometimes PMS is the worst, amiright??" out loud! I mean, seriously. There have been times he can't even finish a sentence because it's 150% ridiculous girl talk (and I'm over to his right CRACKING up with tears in my eyes). Goodness gracious.
So keep that in mind as you read my posts from here on out- every single thing your eyes see, he has said out loud. Bwahahahahahaha! Hehehehe < -- Including that little giggle. < -- And now that.
I received the awesome and ever popular Bouchon Bakery cookbook for my birthday back in September. Gaaaaaaaaw, I was so excited! (Yep, he read that out loud as well.) I could NOT wait to get into it and start challenging my baking skills with some of Thomas Keller's recipes! Every single page is filled with some of the more gorgeous desserts and baked goods my eyes have seen. It's going to be a book I reference time and time again. For realz. (Hehehe)
My sister's birthday rolled around and I gave her the book. "Find something in here and I'll make it for ya!" So she did. One recipe that particularly grabbed our attention was his Plum Tart with Almond Cream recipe. I mean come on. Fresh fruit paired with almonds and pate sucree, and then baked into a tart? My fav! Yum to the O!
I changed the recipe just a tad: but only because at this time of year pears are in season (versus the plums). I also made this into a pie, versus a tart, because...well, I don't have a tart pan (GASP!!)
It's simple beauty in it's best form. Quality ingredients, basic baking techniques, delicious outcome!
PEAR & ALMOND CREAM PIE
For printable recipe, click here.
For the Almond Cream:
- 1/2 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons almond meal (or almond flour)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon organic almond extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons room temperature egg (approximately 1 egg, with leftovers)
For the pie:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and set racks to the middle of your oven.
To make the Almond Cream:
1. Crack egg into a bowl and whisk together completely. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with your paddle attachment, beat your butter on medium to medium-high until light in color and the consistency of mayonnaise. This should take just a few minutes.
3. While that is beating, sift your almond meal and flour into a bowl, making sure to press out any and all clumps. Once clumps have been eliminated, add the remaining almond meal in sieve to your bowl.
4. Sift your powdered sugar and add to your beating butter, with the mixer on low. Stop, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, and mix for another 2-3 minutes on medium, until light and fluffy.
5. Stop mixer, scrape down sides and bottom again, and add your almond extract. Mix until incorporated. Add your almond and flour mixture and beat on medium another 30 seconds.
6. Stop and scrape mixer bowl again and add your 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of egg. (With your well beaten egg, just scoop and measure out with measuring spoons.) Mix until combined, another 20-30 seconds. Scrape bowl and mix slightly again.
Place mixer bowl in refrigerator until needed.
To make pie:
1. Core and cut your large Bartlett pear into 1/8" thick slices. I also cut each of those slices in half, width-wise to make sure they fit into my pie shell perfectly.
2. Fill your pastry bag (or zip-lock bag) with Almond Cream and pipe into your unbaked (defrosted) pie shell. If you'd like you can use a small offset spatula to even out that cream into a nice even layer.
3. Next, fan your pear slices so that they spiral from the outer to the inner of the pie. Sprinkle the vanilla sugar over the pears.
4. Bake for 40 minutes on the center rack of your oven. You're looking for a nicely browned crust, browned pears, and puffed up filling. If the edges of your crust are browning too quickly, cover edges with tin foil and place back in oven!
**Almond Cream can be made up to 4 days in advance. Just simply place into an air-tight container and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface before fitting with lid. Then, place in refrigerator until day you need. On the day of, let come to room temp before using :)
Adapted from Thomas Keller's Bouchon.
So girlfriend, you totally (like totes) need to make this pie! This would be amazzzzzzzing at your next holiday dinner!
By the way, the Elah Tree zip pouch giveaway has ended today! Are you the winner??? Make sure you head on over to see!