Everyday Food, December 2006
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup whole blanched almonds
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
3 firm, ripe Bartlett pears
2 tablespoons apple jelly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with butter; set aside.
In a food processor, combine almonds and sugar; process until very finely ground. Add butter, eggs, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and almond extract, if using; process until combined. Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan.
Peel, halve, and core pears; cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, rubbing them with lemon as you work (to prevent discoloration). Arrange slices on chocolate mixture, slightly overlapping, without pressing in.
Place pan on a baking sheet; bake until top is puffed and a toothpick inserted in center of chocolate mixture comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
Briefly heat jelly in the microwave or on the stove until liquefied. Gently brush pears with jelly; let set, at least 20 minutes. Remove tart from pan, and serve.