Anise, Pear and Almond Crostata
Prep time: 45 minutes Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes Servings: 6 Crostata Crust: 1 1/4 cups allpurpose flour 1 stick butter, cut into 1/2inch cubes and frozen 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Mediterranean Sea Salt 1/4 cup ice water Anise Almond Filling: 1 cup blanched, slivered almonds 3/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Anise Seeds 1/3 cup sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon Spice Islands Vanilla Extract 1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Mediterranean Sea Salt 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature 3 Fiorelle or small pears, sliced into thin
wedges 2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for
sprinkling 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 large egg, beaten 2 tablespoons Polaner Apricot Preserves,
heated cream or ice cream (optional) To make crust: In food processor, combine flour, frozen butter and salt. Pulse until dough is size of large peas. Add 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse several times. Pinch dough to see if it is holding together; if not, add water a couple of teaspoons at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until dough holds together. Form dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes. Heat oven to 400 F. To make filling: In food processor, blend almonds, anise seeds, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt until paste forms. Add room temperature butter and blend again. Set aside.
Toss sliced pears with 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
On sheet of floured parchment paper, roll out dough into 13inch circle; transfer on parchment to rimless cookie sheet.
Spread almond paste onto circle, leaving 2inch border. Scatter pears on top, covering almond paste. Fold dough up and over pears, overlapping dough as needed. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle crust generously with extra sugar.
Bake until pears are tender, 4045 minutes. If crust starts to get too brown, lightly cover with foil. Remove tart from oven and brush pears with heated apricot preserves. Serve with cream or ice cream, if desired.