The Bourdaloue tart, had been named after a seventeenth-century preacher, Louis Bourdaloue. Reflecting religious beliefs, the pears are sometimes arranged into a cross. *There is no need for poaching pears. The best pear varieties to use for baking are Anjou and Bartlett pears, also known as Williams' pears. When choosing pears for baking, pick ones that are firm but not too-hard, have a good fragrance, and are smooth and unblemished with their stems still attached. Fall is the best season for these pears, but they are available almost all year long. Canned pear halves can be used as well. Use a 9''/23cm tart pan.
In a food processor, cream butter, salt and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, and blend to smooth then add flour. Wrap up and chill until firm. Pastry can last a week in the refrigerator or kept frozen for weeks. Use about 350g of the pastry, and work out to soften over a floured work surface. Roll out into a thin 0.12’’/3 mm thick round (an inch/2.5cm larger than the mold) and lightly prick. Chill if too soft. Lay over the greased tart pan. Trim off excess pastry and chill.
Beat softened butter with salt, and vanilla. Add sugar, almond meal and starch (Best if blended in a food processor to fine powder). Add the egg, rum and mix until homogenized. Use almond cream at room temperature.
Fill tart shell half way with the almond cream; refrigerate or freeze to set. Meanwhile peel, core and rub pears with some lemon juice to prevent from oxidizing. Cut and fan the pears out evenly over the almond cream filled tart; press pears in slightly.
Bake the almond pear tart at 375ºF/190ºC for about 45 min. Let cool. Decorate tart with some lightly toasted sliver almonds. Dust out the edges with powdered sugar if desired. Best served at room temperature – Bon appétit!