Makes 15 servings
Poached Pears (may be done a day ahead)
2 cups water
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
2/3 cup Stevia In The Raw, Bakers Bag
4 strips lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds removed and set aside
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 whole cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 Bartlett or Bosc pears (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise and cored
8 sheets (12″x17″) packaged prepared Phyllo dough
Filling and Topping
3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/4 cup Stevia In The Raw. Bakers Bag
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon almond
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup poached pear liquid, strained
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
In medium saucepan bring water, apple juice, Stevia, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean along with seeds, peppercorns, cloves, and salt to a boil. Add pear halves, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until pears are fork tender. Remove from heat and cool for about 1 hour in poaching liquid.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Prepare tart shell. Lightly oil an 8″ x 11″ oblong metal tart pan with a removable bottom. Keeping phyllo sheets moist with a damp cloth carefully arrange 8 sheets in tart pan — brushing each lightly with canola oil before layering.
Trim edges and prick sides and bottom of shell with a fork before baking at 400°F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on rack.
To make filling add almonds, Stevia, cinnamon and salt to a food processor and process until mixture is a finely chopped powder. Add egg, extracts and butter, and process until a paste.
Spread almond paste in bottom of baked tart shell.
Remove pears from poaching liquid; pat dry and cut halves into ¼ slices on angle. Arrange pear slices staggered in 3 rows.
Reduce oven to 350°F and bake tart for about 45 minutes on baking sheet or until almond mixture puffs. It may be necessary to shield crust edges with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Let cool completely.
Prepare glaze topping by combining ½ cup strained pear liquid with cornstarch in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Remove and drizzle glaze over pear slices. If you don’t want a glaze on your tart, instead mix some apple pie spice with a little Stevia powder or granulated sugar (to taste) and dust over the top of the tart, as in the picture.
Cut into 15 squares and serve warm with hot coffee or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.