Crostata di Pere e Amaretti

Pear and Amaretti Tarts

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    6

    Individual Tarts

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Crumbled amaretti cover the pastry case for these delectable little tarts, which are topped with pears and pine nuts. It is essential to use pears that are quite ripe, without being overripe, to ensure they cook to the perfect level of tenderness. Adding milk to the pastry near to the end of cooking makes it moist and crumbly and gives it a lovely golden sheen. Serve these tasty tarts warm, accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream or mascarpone.

Ingredients

  • 250 g/9 oz/ cups plain/all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 10 ml/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 175 g/6 oz/scant 1 cup caster/superfine sugar
  • 115 g/4 oz/½ cup unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 5 ml/1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • breadcrumbs, for dusting
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp pear, peach or apricot conserve
  • 75 g/3 oz amaretti, crumbled
  • 6 small ripe pears, halved, peeled and cored
  • 50 g/2 oz/½ cup pine nuts
  • 45-60 ml/3-4 tbsp full-fat/whole milk, for brushing
  • icing/confectionerssugar, for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Sift the flour and baking powder in a pile on the work surface and make a hollow in the middle with your fist.
  2. Add 115 g/4 oz/generous ½ cup of the caster sugar, the butter, egg and yolk, vanilla and salt, then knead together to make a soft ball of dough.

  3. Remove one-third of the dough and roll it into a ball. Roll the remaining two-thirds into another ball and set both balls of dough aside until required.
  4. Generously grease six individual tart tins or pans with butter, then dust each tin first with flour, then with breadcrumbs.

  5. Roll out the larger ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface, to about 1 cm/½ in thick. Cut out circles of dough large enough to line each of the greased tins, then use to line them, pressing the pastry in carefully with your fingers.
  6. Cover the base of each lined case with a layer of conserve, then arrange a thick layer of the amaretti crumbs on top.
  7. Arrange the pears on top of the amaretti crumbs, cutting them to fit, then sprinkle over the pine nuts and remaining caster sugar.

  8. Use the smaller ball of dough to first line the edges of the top of each tart carefully, and second, to create a lattice pattern for the top of each tart.
  9. Bake the tarts in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until browned. Remove the tarts from the oven, brush generously with milk, then bake for a further 8-10 minutes.

  10. Remove the tarts from the tins and put each one on a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar, then serve while still warm.