“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Caramel Pear Tart

Spring cleaning is underway at my house and that includes the refrigerator. I knew I had to use up these pears quick because they were on their way to the compost (or ducks, squirrels or raccoons) soon. Going through my recipes, I found one I hadn't made for awhile, a pear tart.  Here is how I made it.

Crust in plastic wrap after a nice rest in the fridge.
First the crust, I used white whole-wheat flour, but you may use all-purpose white flour if you prefer.

PASTRY
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
10 tablespoons butter, chilled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons cold water

I used my KitchenAid Mixer with the paddle attachment but you can surely do this by hand or use a food processor if you prefer, the method is the same. Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor and pulse to mix. Cut chilled butter into cubes and scatter over dry mixture. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat in egg yolk with motor running and process until pastry just binds together. Turn dough out, knead 3 turns, bring dough together and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or for up to 8 hours.





FILLING
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
8 Bartlett pears, slightly under-ripe
Butter (for greasing)


To prepare filling, peel, core and quarter pears. Butter a 10" pie pan 2 " deep. I used a deep dish  9" Pyrex pie pan.


My favorite sugar.

The beginning of the cooking process with the sugar, butter and pears.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add sugar and stir to combine butter and sugar. Cook over medium heat until caramel turns a deep, tawny brown. Immediately add the pears. Cook, and stir until pears are brown and tender and juices are reduced. Transfer browned pears to prepared pan.



The caramel is just right! Be careful, extremely hot!
Cook caramel 1-2 minutes to thicken, taking care not to burn. Pour caramel over cooked
pears in pie pan.  Hint: Cook your pears a bit more than I did, mine were still too juicy! They should have nice browned edges on them.



If you want it real pretty you could arrange your pears in a circular fashion.

My tart was more rustic, I just tucked the extra pastry under and into the pan, no trimming or waste.
Roll out chilled pastry into a circle slightly larger than the pan. Place pastry over the top of pears. Trim pastry flush with rim of pan. Tuck pastry into pan, and slash in several places. Bake in middle of 400º oven 30 minutes. (Check after 20 minutes, and cover loosely with foil if too brown).



Remove tart from oven. Let stand 30 minutes.

Glad I used my ancient old pizza pan underneath, see how the juices bubbled over!

 After you have let it cool the 30 minutes, invert the tart onto a platter.



Serve with whipped cream or ice cream or my husband's favorite Cool Whip!




Caramel Pear Tart

PASTRY
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
10 tablespoons butter, chilled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons cold water

FILLING
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
8 Bartlett pears, slightly under-ripe
Butter (for greasing)

Combine flour and sugar in food processor and pulse to mix. Cut chilled butter into cubes and scatter over dry mixture. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat in egg yolk with motor running and process until pastry just binds together. Turn dough out, knead 3 turns, bring dough together and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or for up to 8 hours.

To prepare filling, peel, core and quarter pears. Butter a 10" pie pan 2 " deep. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add sugar and shake pan to combine butter and sugar. Cook over medium heat until caramel turns a deep, tawny brown. Immediately add the pears. Cook, shaking the pan until pears are brown and tender and juices are reduced. Transfer browned pears to prepared pan. Cook caramel 1-2 minutes to thicken, taking care not to burn. Pour caramel over cooked pears in pie pan. Roll out chilled pastry into a circle slightly larger than the pan. Place pastry over the top of pears. Trim pastry flush with rim of pan. Tuck pastry into pan, and slash in several places. Bake in middle of 400º oven 30 minutes. (Check after 20 minutes, and cover loosely with foil if too brown). Remove tart from oven. Let stand 30 minutes. Invert onto platter. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 6-8 servings.


Hop over to Naptime Creations - Tasty Tuesday or Crazy Sweet Tuesday for more yummy recipes!


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7 comments:

  1. Looks divine and tastes heavenly, I'm sure!

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  2. This looks amazing!! I'm on my way over... :)

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  3. Mmmmm...so that's what that sweet smell in the air is :) Looks so yummy! Must. Make. This.

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  4. I've never had a pear tart, but that looks delicious. I can almost smell it from here!

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  5. The pears and caramel look delicious, it’s only 6.30am but I could eat your pear tart right now!

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  6. This upside-down pear tart looks delicious!

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