Flaky Pear Tartlets
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 20 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
These tartlets, made with layered sheets of phyllo and almond cream, are a riff on baklava: "My mom's family is from Lebanon, so I grew up loving baklava," chef Jason Travi says. If you can, fill the tartlets with Bartlett pears, which are sweet but not very juicy (too much liquid will make the phyllo soggy).
- 1 cup finely ground blanched almonds (4 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks unsalted butter—1 stick softened, 1 stick melted
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 large egg
- 16 sheets phyllo, plus more in case of breakage
- 2 large Bartlett pears—peeled, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
- In a food processor, combine the almonds with the flour and process until fine. Transfer to a bowl. Add the softened butter and 1/2 cup of sugar to the processor and process until smooth. Add the egg and process until blended. Add the almond-flour and pulse until smooth. Transfer the almond cream to a bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface and brush with the melted butter. Top with 3 more sheets, buttering each one. Trim the stack to a 10-inch square and cut it into four 5-inch squares. Dollop 1 tablespoon of the almond cream onto 2 of the squares and top with the other 2 squares, placing them perpendicular to the bottom ones. Repeat the process 3 more times to make 8 tartlets.
- Fit each tartlet into a well-buttered shallow ramekin (or use a nonstick muffin pan). Carefully press the tarts into the corners. Spoon a rounded tablespoon of the almond cream onto each tartlet. Lay the pear slices over the almond cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let cool.
- Carefully unmold the tartlets and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.