If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, this would be it. It's unlike any dessert I've ever had. The almonds lend an amazing texture and the sweet pears are the perfect complement. Perfect for fall, would be wonderful on a Thanksgiving dessert buffet or to take to a friend with a new baby. The recipe comes from super woman extraodinaire, Tania, who brought me one after Petrea was born. The recipe is Australian, she's converted it to American measurements. Her notes and recipe:
I often make the pastry the night before, or in the morning. It's always worked fine for me that way - I just let it sit on the counter while I make the filling, so it will roll easily. Also, it won't matter if the pears aren't perfectly ripe, if they're close. Ripe is best, but they soften as they cook, and I've often used one's that aren't quite ready.
A "moderate oven" is about 350, and 23cm - I think I use about an 8" or 9" flan pie (a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. A springform pan would also work.) To do the ground almonds I just put a cup (or a little less) of almonds in my blender, until they are really fine.
Almond & Pear Flan
1 ¼ cups flour
6 ½ Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp sugar
2 egg yolks
9 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup ground almonds
1 Tbsp flour
3 pears, peeled, cored & halved
Cream butter and sugar together until just combined, add eggs one ata time, beating well after each addition. Fold in almonds and flour.