For the Torte: - 1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar - 3/4 cup Almond Paste - 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened - 3 eggs - 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour - 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For Topping: - 2 tablespoons apricot preserves - 1 teaspoon water
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously grease a 10-inch cake or tart pan with butter and sprinkle on 1 Tablespoon of the sugar. Set aside.
Over medium-high heat, bring water, sugar, and lemon juice to boil in large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pears. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pears are very tender, stirring occasionally. Cool pears in syrup. (This can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate.)
Mix the almond paste and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Add the butter and mix until completely incorporated. Beat in the eggs. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly with a spatula.
Stem pears and cut each in half lengthwise; scoop out cores. Cut each half into thin slices. Arrange the pears, in a circular pattern covering the entire surface of the batter, slightly overlapping. Place smaller slices in the center.
Bake until the batter puffs up, the edges are golden brown and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 - 35 minutes.
In a small saucepan combine the apricot preserves and water and heat until it becomes translucent and loose. Brush the apricot glaze over the entire top of the pear tart.
Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Mixed Salad Annie recipe.