Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pear and Almond Crostata

What Would Brian Boitano Make?  To be brutally honest, I didn't really care until I tried his Pear and Almond Crostata.  I remember Brian Boitano the Olympic ice skater, the role model for the kids from South Park, but the chef?  I'm a convert.  I'm sure I'll be posting more of his recipes since there are several gems, but with pears in season right now, I thought this one was fitting.
I love rustic tarts and crostatas since you don't have to be perfect with rolling the dough.  My rolling pin may be close to my heart (it was my grandmother's) but a pastry chef, I am not.  To make things even easier, this crust is made from store bought almond paste. 

After rolling out a small portion of the flavorful paste to a thin pancake, a dollop of cream cheese filling (cream cheese, egg, vanilla extract, and a touch of flour and sugar) is spread around the center.  Then you take a quarter of a pear, cut it into 5 slices, and fan it on top of the filling.  To finish the package, wrap the edges of the almond paste around the filling.  Once the crostata is brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with raw sugar, it bakes until it reaches a rich, golden brown shade, shimmering with sugar crystals.  I chose not to use all of the garnish that Brian called for (ice cream, almonds, mint), but I did opt for the scoop of cherry vanilla ice cream.  Now don't get me wrong, his show is laden with slapstick humor and quirky story-lines, but the recipes are great!  So the simple answer to "what would Brian Boitano make?"...really good stuff!


  1. Your crostata looks golden and delicious. I love pears and was just wondering is royal gala apples would work in this as well. Thanks for posting.

  2. Thanks, Paula! I would think apples would work as long as you sliced them thin so that they would soften up while it cooks. Let me know if you try them that way!