Brian Boitano's Pear and Almond Crostata
- 1 (8-ounce) package Cream Cheese (softened)
- 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour (plus more for dusting)
- 2 Eggs (divided)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 (7-ounce) packages of Almond Paste
- 4 Pears (peeled)
- 2 tablespoons Raw Sugar
- 1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)
- 1/4 cup sliced Almonds (toasted)
- 8 fresh Mint sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour, 1 egg, and vanilla in a large chilled metal bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until well blended and smooth. Set aside.
- Divide each package of almond paste into 4 equal portions. Dust a work surface with flour and roll each portion into a 6-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick.
- Place 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese filling into the center of each round. Spread the filling out in an even layer, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge of the round.
- Cut each pear in half and remove the seeds and fibrous spine using a paring knife or melon baller. Cut each half into 5 slices. Fan out 5 of the pear slices on top of the filling in the center of a round. Gently fold the edges of the almond paste over the edge of the filling all the way around. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ingredients, filling both sheets.
- Whisk together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl until well blended. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each crostata with the egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Bake the crostatas until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve each crostata on a plate with a small scoop of ice cream, if desired, and garnished with sliced almonds and mint.