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Pear and Almond Crostata

(Serves 8)
Pear and Almond Crostata
Pear and Almond Crostata

1 refrigerated single pie crust
3-1/2 ounces almond paste
3  teaspoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons flour
3 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
3 medium pears, peeled and cored
1/4 cup apple or apricot jam
Egg wash:  1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons sliced almonds


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unroll the pie crust onto the baking sheet. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine the almond paste, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and flour.  Process until the almond paste is finely chopped.  Add the butter, egg, and vanilla or almond extract; blend until the mixture is smooth.

Spread the almond mixture over the pie crust, leaving a 1-1/2-inch border.
Cut the pears into 1/4-inch thick slices.  Arrange the pear slices in concentric circles on top of the almond filling. Fold the dough border up over the edge of the filling, pleating the dough as you fold. 

Heat the apple or apricot jam in a small saucepan to melt to a liquid consistency.  Brush the melted jam over the exposed pear slices.  Brush the egg wash over the pleated dough border. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top of the pears.

Bake the crostata for 35 minutes; sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top.  Continue baking another 5 to 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Cool for 30 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
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