Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pear Tart

'Look, mama! Autumn kissed the leaves!', exclaimed my observant child. Evening walks lend themselves a view long forgotten, when taking them with a child. Colorful red orange hues on maple trees, newly labeled as 'autumn kissed'...that's one to remember!

Recently, my lovely neighbors dropped off a couple of large bags of plums and pears--mmm, another sign of autumn. After 'tiring' of several pears a day for what felt like forever and three days, I decided it was time to do more with them. I found a pretty tempting tart at This gal, by the way, is amazing! The food styling/ photography, the recipes, the humor...fantastic!

I made her frangipane tart, but to my dismay, due to constant distractions and over flopped. Big time. With another notch of culinary disaster under my belt, I took the extra tart dough and tried again. This time I made a sour cream based filling and added Helene's honey roasted pears on top.
Wow! The tart was impressive, somewhat. My son gasped and said, 'Mama, it's sooo purdy! I don't want it. It's too honey-y and pear-y'. A self proclaimed food critic, who doesn't need to taste it in order to come to a conclusion...and so, we move on. It was not only pleasing to the eye, but also to the palate!

The sour cream base is quite versatile. It can be altered to accommodate the moment, as well as seasonal fruit!

Pear Tart
Sable dough and honey roasted apples
by Helene Dujardin,

Sable Dough
1 stick (115 gr) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (93 gr) powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 1 /2 cups (188gr) flour
2 tablespoons (20 gr) cornstarch (makes for a lighter crumb)
pinch of salt

In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and mix until combined.
Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and mix briefly to incorporate.
Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Do not work the dough while in the mixer or it will toughen up. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between the sheets of plastic. You will need half the amount of dough to make the tartelettes.
The other half can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen, well wrapped for up to 3 months.
Cut out rounds with a 3 inch pastry ring. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Let cool

Honey Roasted Apples:

4 medium apples
1/2 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350F.
Peel core and cut the apples in thin slices.
Lay them on a couple of parchment paper lined baking sheets and drizzle at will with the honey.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Let cool
Sour Cream Filling
adapted from Tanya Belt,
3/4 cup sugar *
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, flour, spices, and salt.
Add sour cream, mix until smooth.
Beat in egg, and combine until smooth.
Pour filling into cooled prebaked tart shell.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean.
Let cool.
Arrange roasted pears on firm and set filling.
Store in refrigerator, covered.

*Pears and apples have been used interchangably. I roasted pears, under the premise of Helene's honey roasted apple recipe.
* I made an 8 inch tart and increased baking time.
* I will definitely decrease the sugar in the filling, due to the sweetness of the pears and honey.


pityenlacocina said...

what a lovely blog, eres spanish speaking? your cake looks delicious, well done from a spanish in london,

Alexandra said...

Thank you so very much!
I am quite flattered, especially after highly enjoying your work!

Si, la majoria de mi familia son de Espana, i tambien Portugal, Italia, i Frances. Soy Americana, tercer generacion
I guess you can say we're a Meditteranean a seasoning!