I began cooking as a child the year Santa brought me my Easy Bake Oven. That Christmas is the favorite of all my childhood Christmases. I baked all day, never changing out of my red, flannel nightgown and fluffy slippers. I took serious the delicacies I slid through my turquoise, light-bulb heated, kid kiln; each cake and cookie better than the one baked before. It was magical.
When Becky and I began this blog over one year ago, she couldn’t cook one thing – not one. I am amazed how far she has come. I was a good cook, but the most surprising benefit of being involved in our blog is I have become a much better cook. I now love the recipe-creation process and this recipe is the result of me stretching my baking wings.
I know this looks overwhelming and time-consuming, but it is all very easy…just many steps. This is a great dessert and you will get tons of oohs and aahs for your efforts.
My husband, who has had many delicious desserts over the years, said this was the best dessert he has ever had. Whaat?? I’m ok now, but I got all teary when he said that! :)
Please read the entire recipe before beginning. It’s a good idea to make the sauces before you begin assembling the tart or if using a store-bought crust, while the piecrust warms to room temperature. (You could even make the sauces beforehand and store them in the fridge until ready to make the tart.)
It looks complicated, but the whole thing took just a little over an hour. That isn’t bad for someone who isn’t a pie baker and for something so scrumptious.
This recipe was inspired by Southern Living, you can find the original recipe HERE. I used Trader Joe’s pie crust, which is delicious. for an easy and incredibly good homemade pie crust recipe, click HERE.
the recipe is detailed in the recipe card below. “easy recipe” doesn’t allow me to bold any of the writing, but the instructions are written in sections, so please read through it before beginning. it looks longer than it is :) enjoy!!!
this is a beautiful and delicious dessert. this will wow your guests! amazing!
- link for homemade pie crust found in the post above. Or your favorite store-bought pie crust.
- Trader Joe's (my fave) thawed, then at room temperature for 1/2 hour.
- 2 ea. Bosc and/or Anjou Pears, or
- 2 ea. Gala & Granny Smith Apples
- The fruit chosen for pies is such a personal passion. I love the taste of using tart and sweet in each pie & like using Gala and Granny Smith together.
- 1 Lemon - juiced
- 2 T Sugar
- 2 T Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/2 t Cinnamon or Apple Pie Spice
- Almond Paste - 8 oz can (I used Solo)
- 1/2 c Heavy Cream (whipping cream)
- 4 T Butter - melted
- 2 T Amaretto (opt.)
- 1 egg (beaten slightly with a fork)
- (This makes a large amount, so you could cut this part of the recipe in half and use the other part of the Almond Paste for something else. Or make the recipe as written and make more pies or use in a different dessert.)
- 1/2 c Apricot Preserves
- 1T Butter
- 2 T Amaretto (opt.)
- For the Toffee Sauce:
- 3/4 c Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream)
- 3/4 c Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/2 t Coarse Salt (or table salt)
- 2 T Butter
- 1-2 T Rum (opt., but so good)
- 1 t Amaretto (opt., but so good)
- 1/2 t. vanilla ext.
- top with your favorite ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place the oven rack on the lowest level.
- Warm the crust 1/2 hour at room temperature.
- If using Trader Joe's Pie Crust; gently unroll it, pinch the pieces together, then gently roll with a rolling-pin just until the crust comes together. (For some reason, Trader Joe's Pie Crust always breaks apart when unrolled & so much butter in it??)
- Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
- Place the crust in the middle of the parchment paper and set aside. (Again, Trader Joe's is a little tricky. While still on the wrapping it comes rolled in, pinch the pieces of the pie dough together then roll with a rolling pin 3-4 times. Then pick up the pie dough and carefully flip it onto the parchment paper on the cookie sheet.)
- Peel and core the fruit. (Use a corer if you have one.)
- Cut the fruit in half and lay (flat-side down) on a cutting board.
- Thinly slice the fruit length-wise.
- Drizzle with juice from 1 lemon and set aside.
- Place the butter, almond paste and cream in a stovetop pan.
- Heat on med-low until the butter melts.
- Stir continually until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
- Take the mixture off the heat and pour into a bowl.
- Add the Amaretto and stir until incorporated.
- Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes of cooling and while quickly whisking, add the beaten egg. (If the egg is added while too hot, it will cook instead of blend.)
- Stir until ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
- Set aside.
- Melt the apricot preserves in a small saucepan until melted.
- Strain the preserves through a mesh sieve over a small bowl.
- Discard the chunky apricot pieces (or use in a different recipe).
- Add 1 T butter and Amaretto to the Apricot Preserve liquid.
- Whisk or stir until smooth and set aside.
- For the Toffee Sauce:
- Heat the brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan on medium-low until it comes to a low boil.
- Boil for 2 minutes. Stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn the heat down to the lowest temperature.
- Carefully and slowly add the cream, whisking/stirring non-stop until incorporated.
- Cook and low-boil for another 2 minutes until the sauce is smooth and glossy.
- Take off the heat.
- Add the vanilla, Amaretto, Rum and Salt.
- Stir for 1 minute until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
- Place the fruit in a bowl and sprinkle it with both sugars and cinnamon (or apple pie spice) and gently stir.
- Spread a thin layer of the Almond Cream on top of the crust 3 inches within the crust edge.
- Layer the fruit slices (overlapping them a little in a circle) on top of the Almond Cream. Take care to place the fruit on the almond cream.
- Drizzle the fruit with the Apricot Sauce.
- Gently fold up the outer edges of the crust towards the center. It will overlap the fruit but not come completely to the middle.
- If you have any tears in the pie dough along the bottom edges where the filling could bubble out, add more pie dough to cover the tears. Milk or water can be brushed on those edges then pinch the dough a little to hold it all together.
- Brush the folded-over pie dough lightly with an egg wash (egg & 1 t water mixed together) or milk. This will help your pie turn a beautiful golden color when baked.
- Sprinkle the entire pie with cinnamon-sugar (2T sugar and 1 t cinnamon-per taste).
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Move the tart to an oven rack placed in the middle of the oven.
- Bake an additional 10 minutes until top of crust turns golden. Watch closely.
- (IF the top crust isn't turning golden, turn the oven to broil for just 1-2 minutes, WATCH VERY CLOSELY or it will burn quickly.)
- Remove from the oven.
- Let the tart cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
- If serving immediately, slide the tart onto a cutting board, cut and serve with a dollop of ice cream then drizzled with Toffee Sauce.
- *If not serving immediately, slide the parchment and tart off the pan and onto the cooling rack to cool. Let cool. When it is time to serve. Reheat the Toffee Sauce, so it can melt the ice cream a little when poured on top.
- YUM, YUM, YUM