08 February 2010

Pear to pass the time...

As snow fell over the weekend, all I could think of was baking. The warm smells of pastries baking just warms me to the core. Here's what I made:

Recipe: Pear Custard Tart

1 disk of Sweet Tart Dough (Recipe below), at cool room temperature
4 Pears (such as Bartlett, Anjou, or Bosc), peeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
2 Eggs
2/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons Unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons Heavy (double) cream
1 teaspoon Lemon zest, finely grated
3 tablespoons Flour
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract

(Makes one 9 1/2- Inch Tart)

1) Partially bake the tart shell
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 10 1/2-inch round. Fir into a 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold the overhang over itself and press into the sides of the pan to make a sturdy rim. Freeze for 5 minutes. Blind bake the tart shell until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

2) Make the filling.
Arrange the pear slices in the cooled tart shell. In a bowl, using an electric mixed on medium speed, beat the eggs until think and pale in color. Beat in the sugar. Add the butter, cream, lemon zest, flour, and vanilla and mix well. Pour the mixture evenly over the pears.

3) Bake the tart.
Bake the tart for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and bake until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Let cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the pan rim. Cut the tart into wedges and serve warm.

(NOTE: I used a ceramic tart pan. Also watch the length of baking time, if your oven gets to hot.)

Recipe: Sweet Tart Dough

3 cups Flour
1/3 cup Powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups Unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/3 cup Ice water

(Makes 3 dough disks)

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and butter. Pulse just until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Drizzle the ice water over the flour mixture and process just until fine crumbs form.

Transfer to a lightly floured work surface, divide into 3 equal portions, and press each into a disk.

Wrap each dough disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

(NOTE: I just divided the recipe into thirds to just make one disk.)

You can find these recipes and more in Williams-Sonoma The Weeknight Cook - Cook book.

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