Thursday, December 1, 2011
In the Kitchen - Rustic Pear Tart
Last week, I made several desserts for our Thanksgiving dinner, including a pineapple upside down cake, my autumn fruit pie and a cherry pie made from sour cherries that I'd purchased back in July and froze specifically for this occasion. After assembling the pies and trimming the edges, I had enough dough left over for a 9 inch tart shell. This past weekend, I decided to make a rustic tart using some ripe Bartlett pears.
I love making these 'free-formed' or rustic-looking fruit tarts because 1) they take much less time to prepare than your average pie 2) they usually don't require as much sugar as your average fruit pie recipe and 3) you can get pretty creative with the filling. I started by pealing, halving and coring my four pears and rolling my dough into a round 13 - 14 in diameter. I laid 7 of the halves into a circular pattern on top of the round. I then cut the last half into 1/2 inch cubes and added them to the center of the pear halves. I also had a red plum lying around so I decided to cut it into thin slices and arrange them on top the pear cubes.
On top of the pears, I sprinkled some ground ginger, cinnamon and the tiniest bit of clove. I then drizzled about a tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of light brown sugar. After folding the edges up, I brushed the dough with some egg and sprinkled some raw sugar on it. The tart went into a preheated 425 degree F oven for about 15 minutes and then continued to bake at 375 for another 30-40 minutes.
When the tart is still warm, I like to glaze the fruit with some preserves (in this case, Meyer lemon marmalade) before serving. In the end, this was probably one of the tastiest improvised desserts I've made in a long time.