In the late 19th century, the families of Sicily came to America bringing their most cherished Italian customs and cooking. Prominent among them were flavorful, fresh fruit desserts, such as this lovely tart. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or, even better, gelato.
6.5 ounces white rice flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
4.2 ounces tapioca flour (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
9 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 pears, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
How to Make It
To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, granulated sugar, baking soda, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk; toss with a fork until moist. Gently press mixture into a 4-inch circle on 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap that overlap; cover with additional overlapping plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Roll dough, still covered, into a 12-inch square. Fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 10-inch square removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press dough against bottom and sides of pan. Line bottom of dough with a piece of foil; arrange pie weights or dried beans on foil. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes. Remove pie weights and foil; bake an additional 3 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on wire rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add pears, tossing to coat. Spoon pear mixture in prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack.
To prepare glaze, place preserves and orange juice in a small bowl, stirring to combine. Brush glaze over tart. Cool completely before serving.
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