Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Combine the flour, baking powder, butter, egg yolk, maple syrup and almond essence in a food processor. Process to a bread crumb consistency. Add enough cold water to form a dough. Place in a plastic bag in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Roll the pastry out and lightly oil a flan dish. Bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Beat the egg whites to form peaks. Blend the ricotta with the egg yolks, maple syrup and almond essence. Fold the ricotta and almond meal through the egg whites.
Fill the flan and top with slices of pear. Brush a little maple syrup over the pear and bake the flan in the oven for 60 minutes.
Note: 30 grams of almonds, the equivalent of about 20 nuts, provides 85% of the recommended daily intake of the powerful fat soluble antioxidant Vitamin E.
Makes 8 servings (serve = 1 slice)