I can’t believe that Ramadan is already winding down with it being in the last 10 days now. As much as it seems such a hardship to fast and keep insane hours, I find it amazing that it goes by so fast. The last 10 days of Ramadan are the most important and it’s where we are encouraged to amp up our prayers and night worship. We’ve been going to the Islamic Center every night either to break fast and stay for the evening congregational prayer or eat at home and then go to the service. This means that every night is a late night for us. I have given up sleeping. So, if you see me comment on your sites at 2 or 3 in the morning, don’t be surprised.
The end of Ramadan is scheduled for August 8th pretty much all over the world. That’s when the new moon will be visible. August 8th will see an early morning congregational prayer, an Eid breakfast at the Center and then the day to enjoy with friends and family. The end of Ramadan is known as Eid ul Fitr.
Eid ul Fitr is a day of much joy and happiness because, for one, we can eat again! It feels very odd on Eid morning to have my coffee and eat something before heading to prayer. And then all day, I am always second guessing myself the moment I put something in my mouth! Eid is spent visiting friends and family, and exchanging gifts. For the kids, this is the best part; the gifts.
In Houston, our day was a busy one with so many of my family members around. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner together usually. In between all that eating, there was a customary nap! Now, in Denver, with no family around, we spend our day with friends or taking a trip to the mountains with a picnic; family time.
I am going to try and not be absent the next few days but since it is the last 10 days and I am also busy at the Islamic Center, I may be a bit erratic with my posting and commenting. I am doing a bit of cooking for the Center dinners, helping out a friend with dessert. I am making Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake for a dinner tonight, soup tomorrow and another dessert next week. Great thing is, I won’t have to cook anything else because we’ll be eating there.
So, today’s recipe, Forelle Pear and Thyme Frangipane Tart is one I’ve been wanting to make for a while now. I used to make it all the time at my big Thanksgiving dinners of yore, but since we moved to Denver, other dessert requests have been filled. It is one of my favourites and it’s so good.
Usually, I use easily available Bosc or D’Anjou pears and I’ve even used tinned. This time, I really wanted to make it with the beautiful Forelles before they went off the market. I love these pears, they are so fragrant and sweet when ripe but gorgeously crisp and fresh while still a bit under ripe. I like them both ways.
An addition of some thyme added a lovely floral note to the rich almond cream and played nicely with the sweet scented Forelles.
Serves: 8 slices
- ½ cup/65g ground almonds
- ¼ cup/53g organic cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons/25g organic plain/all purpose flour
- 3 tbs butter
- 1 large organic egg
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Tart shell
- 3 or 4 Forelle pears, sliced horizontally in circles
- ⅛ cup apricot preserves to glaze.
- 1½ cups/220g organic all purpose/plain flour
- salt a pinch
- 8 tablespoons/113g butter, cold, cut into 1" cubes
- 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
- 3-5 tbs ice cold water
- In the bowl of a food processor add flour, salt and sugar. Pulse to mix.
- Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add 3 tablespoons ice cold water and pulse until incorporated.
- Add tablespoon at a time of water if needed (mine took 4)
- Dump out into a board or counter and knead gently till the dough holds together.
- Wrap with plastic and chill for 30 minutes before rolling out.
- If baking the tart shell that day, preheat the oven to 375 ℉/180℃ (for a rectangular or round pan)
- The dough is pretty easy to roll out on a counter top with a good dusting of flour.
- You can also choose to roll it out between parchment or plastic.
- Roll out the dough to 18" by 8" (45 x 20 cm) for a rectangular pan or 12"(30cm) for a 9" (23 cm) round pan.
- Chill in freezer for 10 minutes if baking right away or overnight for later use.
- Line with parchment and fill with beans or rice (blind bake)
- Place the tart in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 375℉/180℃ till golden at the edges
- Remove beans or rice and bake all the way through till golden all over, 15/20 minutes or until set.
- If the dough is not set, it will stick to the parchment more.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before filling.
- Mix together ground almonds and flour together in a bowl.
- In a food processor or mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and beat well.
- Add the vanilla extract and thyme leaves.
- Add the almond-flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Spread the paste into the tart shell
- Arrange the pears on top.
- Sprinkle some extra thyme leaves on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the filling is puffy and golden brown.
- Cool on rack.
- Apply an apricot glaze if desired, by warming some apricot jam and brushing on the pears only.
- Add a spring or two of thyme or sprinkle thyme leaves over the pears.
Hope you are all having an awesome week and have great plans for the weekend ahead. I will be back soon, but don’t mind if I am a little late visiting all your sites. Once Ramadan is over, and I’ve slept for a week straight, I’ll be back to my normal self. Have a great weekend!!