Monday, September 13, 2010

Chai Pear Tart


When I made this tart yesterday, I was uncertain that the amount of effort put into the poaching of the pears would be worth it. Well it was, this tart was spectacular.


One 9 inch tart pan or six individual tart pans

Poached Pears:
2 Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled and cut in half with the core spooned out.
2 chai tea bags
1 C. red wine
1/3 C. green cardamom pods
1 T. cloves
1 C. sugar
1 C. water

In a non-reactive pot, combine all ingredients. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add pears and simmer(poach) for 30 minutes. Cool. Strain the poaching liquid and reduce to a syrup to brush on the tart and/or to serve as a sauce.


Almond Cream:
4 oz toasted almond
4 oz. sugar
4 oz. butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 T. vanilla
1/2 t. salt

In a food processor, grind the nuts and sugar to a fine mixture. Add butter, egg, yolk, vanilla and salt. Continue to process until smooth. The almond cream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Crust:
1 1/4 C. AP flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 t. salt
4 oz. butter
1 egg yolk
1 T. vanilla

Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture feels like wet sand. Mix together the yolk and vanilla, then pour into the flour mixture and gently mix to a smooth dough. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.

Roll to fill the tart pan. Blind bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes. Remove the weights and continue to bake for about ten more minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown. Fill with almond cream and spread to the edge of the pastry shell. Set pears cut side down (you can slice and fan the bottom of the pears if you like) into the almond cream and gently press in about 1/8 of an inch. Bake the tart an additional 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Glaze the pears with the reduced poaching liquid. Serve the tart at room temperature with or without the reduced syrup.

Note: For a fresh fruit tart, simple bake without the pears then cool and top with desired fruit. Glaze the fruit with warm apricot jam.

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