*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                            Chocolate-Pear Tart
 Recipe By     : California Cooking: Parties, Picnics & Celebrations
 Serving Size  : 6    Preparation Time :2:00
 Categories    : Cake                             Fruit
                 Black Tie                        Menu
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
                         SHORTBREAD CRUST--
    9      tablespoons   unsalted butter
    9      tablespoons   confectioners' sugar -- sifted
    1 1/2  cups          all-purpose flour -- sifted unbleached
                         CHOCOLATE LAYER--
    6      ounces        semisweet chocolate -- or bittersweet
    2      tablespoons   unsalted butter
                         POACHED PEARS--
    2      cups          water
    1      cup           sugar
    1      teaspoon      vanilla extract
    1      strip         lemon peel -- (3 inch)
      1/2                cinnamon stick
                         Splash of Cognac
    4                    pears -- Bosc
    1      jar           apricot preserves -- (12 ounce)
    2      tablespoons   curaçao -- orange liqueur or
                         pear brandy
      1/4  cup           sliced almonds -- toasted
 To make the shortbread crust, cream together the butter and sugar. Blend in
 the flour to make a soft dough. Add 1 more tablespoon butter if the mixture
 will not incorporate all the flour.
 Preheat the oven to 350F.  Pat the dough evenly by hand into the bottom and 1
 1/2 to 2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan.  Prick well with a
 fork. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely.
 Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Spread
 on the bottom and up the side a little to hide the 'seam' of the the tart
 shell and let cool until the chocolate hardens.
 To Prepare Pears: peel, stem, halve, and core the pears. (Photo tells me that
 the pears were peeled by slicing; the roundness is sharpened into an 8-sided
 geometry that is quite attractive.)
 Bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat in a large saucepan,
 stirring only until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla, lemon peel,
 cinnamon and Cognac and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the pears and poach for 10 to
 15 minutes, until they can be easily pierces with a sharp paring knife. Let
 cool in the syrup.
 For the glaze, put the apricot preserves in a food processor fitted with the
 steel blade and process until smooth. Strain and add the liqueur.
 To assemble, drain the pears well, pat them dry, cut crosswise into l/4-inch
 slices (as evenly as possible across all pears) and arrange carefully in the
 tart shell, stem ends at the center. (Photo shows 7-halves -- not all 8 -- in
 the wheel.) Brush the pears with some of the apricot glaze and sprinkle with
 the toasted almonds.
 Use a warm or heated sharp knife to cut wedges.
 (c) 1986 by Los Angeles County Museum of Art. NY: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.
 [mc-recipe: patH Sep 96]
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 NOTES : Menu “Black Tie Dinner in Beverly Hills” A dramatic dessert, suitable
 for any special occasion, combines two of our true loves -- fresh fruit and
 chocolate.  Makes one 10-inch tart.  By using a springform pan, the shortbread
 crust can stand on its own -- serving on a silvered platter is 'tres elegante'