While Caroline is getting 80s and sun in LA today, we're in the 50s and surrounded by falling leaves in Baltimore. As much as I love 80s and sun, this might be the first fall I've really appreciated the season. It helps that it's a lot longer than the fall I was used to in the Midwest! But I think I am also just enjoying the change. Change is a crazy thing. I think one of the greatest pieces of advice I was given was to learn to accept change as a constant. It's a hard lesson to learn, but I think it's a great goal to strive towards. Even my yoga instructor yesterday was talking about it. She said that uncertainty is just an opportunity for an adventure. Isn't that a beautiful way to look at it? The same way we look at the golden and crimson leaves on the trees- would we really admire them as we do if they were there year round? I don't think so:) I think we get mesmerized by the fact that each day we walk outside, the tree across the street from our front door looks different. So why can't we look at each day as a great, new, and beautiful adventure? We can, we just have to try a little harder until it becomes the practice. Just like the fall comes every year, so does change. We just have to learn to expect it the same way we expect the leaves to start falling come autumn! Anyways, the whole point of this is that I've finally welcomed fall and I'm super excited to let the autumn baking begin!

Here's a great recipe for a fine dessert that's not too rich or sweet overall, but has a buttery almond crust and caramelized pear slices on top to perfectly satisfy a sweet-tooth craving after a nice meal. It's adapted from a New York Times Cooking recipe and ready to impress!

honey, ricotta, and pear tart with an almond crust

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest from one lemon
1/2 cup butter, cold
1 egg, slightly beaten

1 3/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tablespoon strong honey
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 red D'Anjou pear
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar

First, prepare the tart crust. Add 1/4 cup flour and the almonds to a food processor and process until fine. Add the rest of the flour, powdered sugar, salt, and lemon zest and pulse to combine. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process to a fine crumble. Add the egg and pulse until the dough comes together. Press into a disk, wrap with plastic, and chill for an hour (or overnight). 

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425. Slice the pear into thin slices, coat with olive oil and sugar, and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, flipping half-way. If your slices aren't caramelized yet, you can put them under the broiler for a few minutes until they look nicely roasted.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness and line a 16" tart pan. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Make the filling while the crust is baking by combining the mascarpone, sugar, and cinnamon in a standing mixer. Beat on medium for a couple minutes until fluffy. Then add the ricotta, egg, egg white, honey, and salt. Mix to combine, then pour over the crust, place the caramelized pears on top, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20-30 minutes until the filling is just set in the center. Let cool at room temperature and then serve with honey drizzled on top!

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