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Brown Sugar Pear Tart

Pecan Crust (recipe follows)
3 or 5 medium pears (2 pounds), peeled
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Chopped pears (garnish, optional)
Red seedless grapes (garnish, optional)
Pecan halves (garnish, optional)
Lemon zest (garnish, optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare and bake Pecan Crust. Cut
each pear lengthwise in half and remove core. Place each pear,
cut side down, on cutting surface. Cut crosswise into thin slices.
Lift each pear half with a spatula and arrange on crust, separating
and overlapping the slices (retain the pear shape) to cover surface
of crust.

Mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon; sprinkle over pears. Bake 15
to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and pears are tender.
Garnish by placing chopped pears, grapes, pecan halves, and lemon
zest in the center of the tart.


Pecan Crust

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2/3 cup firm butter or stick margarine

Mix all ingredients except butter in medium bowl. Cut in butter,
using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until crumbly.
Press firmly and evenly against bottom of ungreased 11-inch tart
pan. Bake 8 minutes or until golden brown; cool.


Variation:

Brown Sugar Plum Tart

Bake crust 10 to 12 minutes or until edge is light brown. Substitute
2 pounds plums, pitted and cut lengthwise into thin slices, for
the pears. Bake tart about 30 minutes.

Makes 8 servings

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