Monday, January 5, 2009

Fabulous French Pear Tart


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 drooling over looking at all the variations.

21 comments:

Marthe said...

This looks amazing, can't wait to bake mine tonight!! Although I will be cheating a bit: I'll be using puff pastry because of lack of time...

ostwestwind said...

Stunning! Your tart turned out just perfect, I am green with envy!

No chance for the two-day-, not to mentoion the two-hour-theory with two male teenager here!

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

dorie said...

Your tart looks so, so beautiful. And thanks for the laugh over the pear that got away. Whenever I have a kitchen mishap like that, I think of Julia Child, who, when something slipped off the counter, said, "Just remember, you're alone in the kitchen."

Jacque said...

It looks perfect! Wayward pear and all. Although I don't know how you managed to wrestle the little imp back onto the tart. I thought the sliced pears were difficult to handle.

Anyway, nice job :)

n.o.e said...

I'll have to say that your time in the residence hotel has paid dividends this week - your pear fanning is exquisite. And I love that Dorie commented with a Julia Child anecdote! I think I'd print a screen-cap and frame it!!
Nancy

Natashya said...

You did fan them out really nicely, I missed the part about the spatula.
It looks perfect, so happy you loved it. I want a lime tree.

Megan said...

You are ruining the curve for the rest of us - the tart just looks too perfect. When you mentioned the slippery pear running away, I thought you were going to say you ate it, not put it back on the tart!

LyB said...

I could have eaten the whole tart to myself too! But, the kids saw me make it and they wanted a taste so I had to share. ;)

pinkstripes said...

The saga of the wayward pear! I love it. Your tart looks perfect. Nice job.

Madam Chow said...

Your tart is perfect. My husband says he could have eaten the whole thing by himself in one sitting, and I have to agree!

Tracey said...

Your tart looks wonderful! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I can't wait to make another one and try it myself!

Jess said...

I don't think my tart survived 24 hours. Isn't it wonderful? Yours looks beautiful too, wayward pear and all!

Kayte said...

Your tart looks so beautiful! I love the way it lays and looks so elegant! Nice job!

Rebecca said...

Way to nab that pear!

I miss Sara Moulton. She used to work with Julia Child, too.

The Food Librarian said...

This looks sooo yummy! And so perfect. Great job poaching the pears!

TeaLady said...

Your tart looks delicious. Great job.

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

I simply loved this tart!

Yours is beautiful! 9And kudos to you for braving the store on NYE!

kim said...

your tart is so beautiful! LOL about the wayward pear... at least you were able to salvage it :)

bakingwiththeboys said...

I saw Sara Moulton make that tart too and I keep telling myself I need to try it (but I haven't). I do remember thinking..so that's how they make it look so nice. duh. Yours is gorgeous.

Pamela said...

Looks beautiful! I definitely have to try it SOON!

Liz said...

Okay, that's it, I am quitting my job to watch the Food Network all day, because seriously, that is one fine-looking tart. Your pear arrangement looks totally professional! Gorgeous.