A number of years ago, while I was living in a residence hotel between houses, I had nothing better to do all day than quilt and watch the Food Network. In one respect, this was a good thing, because I learned the trick for making a beautiful and delicious apple tart by watching Sara Moulton. The key was how to thinly slice the apples and skillfully place them in the tart shell. Even family members that didn't like cooked apples or Delicious apples, liked this tart.
Fast forward to now. This week's recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie is very special. First, it marks the one-year anniversary of the TWD Blog (thank you, Laurie!), and, second, our recipe selector du semaine is none other than Dorie herself. What a terrific way to begin the year!
I love pears, so on New Year's Eve, I braved the grocery store for a few last-minute items, and remembered to buy some pears for the tart. My plan was to bake the tart, section by section, over the holiday weekend, and I wanted to make sure the pears were at the perfect stage of ripeness when I began.
Friday afternoon I poached the pears. I used lime juice, since my lemon tree had no available fruit. It was all I could do not to eat the pears right then and there. Next time, I might try cutting them in half and coring them first, before poaching, as they are slippery little beggars.
While the pears were poaching, I made the crust, putting it in the freezer until baking time.
Saturday afternoon I made the almond filling. I used ground almond meal from Trader Joe's. It's not made from blanched almonds, but I wasn't concerned about the appearance, and I figured the taste would be just fine. I had used all my blanched almond meal for a previous baking project.
Sunday morning, I pre-baked the crust,
then proceeded to assemble the tart. Although I tried to photograph each step, I got so caught up in construction, that I forgot.
And, would you believe, one of those pesky pears decided to escape to freedom by sliding off the spatula and adhering its thinly-sliced pieces to the counter top, the cupboard, and the floor!
Not so fast, my fine friend!
Except for two tiny slices, I successfully reassembled the wayward pear and deposited it into the almond filling. (Only I know which one it was, and for revenge, I ate it first. Ha Ha So there!)
Although I really wanted to eat this whole tart at one sitting, I restrained myself. It does taste just as delicious the next day, but I don't think it will last long enough to test the two-day theory. I might just have to make another one very soon. Even my pear-hating daughter would like this tart (it's a texture thing).
So, a million thank-yous to Dorie for such a great choice and for playing along with us. Don't miss anyone's blog entry today -- it should be fun just