For a tart 10 inches (24 cm) diamater 


shortcrust pastry

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup ground almonds

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup cream cheese

pinch of salt


7-8 small pears

1 vanilla pod

zest of 1 lemon

juice from ½ lemon



2 eggs

a pinch of salt

1 cup amaretti biscuits

3-4 tbs of raw cocoa

¼ cup Poire Williams or Amaretto liqueur


nougat size 1 by 2 inch (2×5 cm) cut in small cubes or sliced almonds

With this post I am starting to publish some nice holiday recipes. For sure there will be some nice desserts, of course whenever possible – refined sugar free, gluten free and low carb. I have so many ideas  going on in my head.  Yet no time to make’em all.  For starters a beatiful Xmas wreath tart with amaretti and pears inspired by a Belle Helene classic dessert. When you look up in Escoffier yoou will find only three lines relating to Poire Belle Helene dessert. Pears cooked in vanilla surup, with a scoop of ice cream, with some candidę violets scattered on top and hot chocolate sauce. My tart is the pears cooked in vanilla-lemon syrup sans sugar baked over amaretto-cocoa frangipane. And all those wonderful tastes encased on a cream cheese shortcrust shaped like a Xmas wreath. So, bake it and enjoy it for Xristmas, Thanksgiving, everyday. I am off to making another dessert.


Combine the flour, almonds, butter and cream cheese in a food procesor with salt and mix until ingredients form a loose ball. Gather everything, mix slightly and form a disc. Wrap tightly and place in the fridge for a resting period, minimum 30 minutes. Remove the pasrty from the fridge, roll out to ¼ inch (0,5 cm) thickness and place in a round tart form with a smaller round tart form placed inside. Cut the pastry in the middle into a big cross to be able to ease it around the smaller form. Form the edges, crimp where necessary. Prick with the fork, line with a baking paper, weigh with some pellets, beans or whatever yoou have on hand, and bake for about 20 minutes weighted. In the meantime peel the pears, from the bottom scoop out the pits. Place the pears into a wide shallow saucepan, add ¼ cup of water, vanilla bean cut in half and scraped, lemon juice and zest in wie strips. Cook the pears slightly until they hold their shape.  Remove from the pan and let cool. Cut them crosswise, haselbackwise.  Preper the filling frangipane – in a blender mix the eggs with amaretti biscuits, cocoa, salt and liqueur. Pour the frangipane into the pre-baked crust, place pears decoratively on top, Scatter some nougat or almond slices and  crushed amaretti over the top. Bake in 350 degrees F (180C) for 30-35 minutes until ready.


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