This festive recipe takes just minutes to prepare, but smells fantastic as it bakes, and makes a lovely presentation, too. Pears combined in a creamy custard with cinnamon and almonds on a cookie crust are sure to please.
For the cookie crust
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
For the filling
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond-flavored liqueur
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 fresh ripe pears, peeled, cored, and halved, each half cut into about six 1/2-inch thick wedges
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. To make the crust, use an electric mixer to cream the butter in a small bowl. Add the sugar and egg yolk and beat until smooth. Using a fork, stir in the flour until it is well-blended and forms fine crumbs. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until slightly firm, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. To prepare filling, whisk together the cream, sugar, flour, liqueur, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until smooth.
4. Arrange pears, pinwheel style (thickest portions to the outer edge) on the prepared crust. Save 2 pear wedges, cut them in half horizontally, and arrange in the center. Pour the cream mixture evenly over the pears. Sprinkle with the almonds.
5. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the sauce is not runny. (It will be like custard, and not firm.) Let stand at least 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from The Spirited Vegetarian, by Paulette Mitchell (Rodale Press, 2005). Copyright (c) 2006 by Paulette Mitchell. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from The Spirited Vegetarian, by Paulette Mitchell (Rodale Press, 2005).