We’ve been doing a four week trial of a local produce delivery. Basically, a local farm delivers fresh produce to us once a week. While it has been great to have a large quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables, occasionally it is a bit overwhelming to figure out what to do with some of the things. This week we received 10 pears! I had to figure out something to do with them so I thought a pear tart would be a great idea. The heat wave backed off for a few days so I found a few recipes and went from there. I used this recipe for the crust recipe but I found it to be too salty (and I had already reduced the salt by half!). I also modified it a bit for the actual filling/topping, simplifying everything a bit and making it significantly less salty (and I love salt). The crust is super simple (and tastes a bit like shortbread) and the rest is really not as complicated as it looks. It takes a bit of cooking time and the rest is baking and cooling time. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 5 Tablespoons sugar
- 1-2 pinches salt (max. 1/8 teaspoon)
- 12 Tablespoons butter (unsalted), melted
- Combine the dry ingredients and add in the melted butter until well combined.
- You can use a tart or pie pan but I recommend a springform pan if you have one. Grease the inside with butter generously and you’ll be able to remove the tart easily.
- Press the dough into the bottom and slightly up the outer edge, just enough to give it a bit of a lip on the outside.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 F (175 C) until the crust starts to get slightly golden.
- Remove and cool while you prepare the filling.
Pear Filling/Topping Ingredients:
- 8 pears
- 4 Tablespoons butter (unsalted)
- splashes of water (see below)
- 3/4 cup preserves or applesauce
- pinch of salt
- a few Tablespoons of honey
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- To help this make more sense, you’re basically going to be lightly cooking the pears that will be the design/topping on the top layer first and then you will be making the filling that goes in the middle.
- Take 5 of the pears and slice them about 1/2 inch thick (remove cores, obviously). Heat 2 Tablespoons of butter in a pan. Add the sliced pears and a Tablespoon or two of water and stir gently. Put a lid on it and let them cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer these to a plate to cool.
- Slice the remaining 3 pears (removing the cores again) into small pieces. You don’t have to be picky about this because you’re going to turn this into a paste. Place two more Tablespoons of butter back in the pan, add the 3 chopped pears, a pinch of salt, and the preserves or applesauce. I used rhubarb compote we made with leftover rhubarb last week, but store-bought applesauce would work great. However sweet the applesauce or preserves are will greatly contribute to the sweetness of your final product, so keep that in mind. Cook this mix for about 10 minutes and start mashing it up with a spatula, fork, or potato masher. (Add a splash of water if it ever gets too thick, but you don’t want it to be runny either.) Cook for about 5 more minutes .
- You can transfer this mixture directly to the cooled crust. Spread it out evenly.
- The sliced pears should be cool enough to touch by now, so you will start to design the top. Starting at the outer edge, lay the pears down in circles and work your way to the inside. You don’t have to be super picky about it and it will still look nice.
- Bake at 350 F (175 C) for 25-30 minutes. Right before the timer is up:
- Heat 2-4 Tablespoons of honey in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds with a splash of water until it is very runny. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. If you (carefully) taste it it should taste a bit like honey but not too sweet thanks to the water and lemon.
- Brush this honey mixture over the top of the tart and return the tart back to the oven. Broil briefly (really watch it) until the pears on top just start to brown.
- Remove and cool (ideally 1- 1.5 hours). Run a knife around the edge of the springform pan (if you used one) and release the sides.
- Serve alone or with a bit of fresh whipped cream. You can definitely make this a day in advance, as everything tastes its best the next day.
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