I was pretty excited, as I am sure rest of the Tuesday with Dorie bakers where as well, when we found out that Dorie would be our lovely hostess for this weeks challenge. Dorie, the queen of baking, in book anyhow. I was equally as excited when I found out that Dorie picked the French Pear Tart. I have been dying to make this Pear Tart all winter, and have not had a chance to do so. It would be the most impressive dessert to bring to a dinner party that we had to go to on Sunday.
The recipe calls for a simple tart crust filled with an almond pastry cream and then topped with pears – simple. The tart dough was a classic French Sable otherwise known as a shortbread dough. It is very simple to make especially if you use the food processor as I do. As well you do not have to roll out this dough but rather mold it into your tart pan. I did freeze it for a couple hours before baking which caused it not to bubble or raise during baking.
The recipe called for the option of using canned pears, which evidently most pastry shops do, or we could poach our own. I knew I had to poach my own and I knew that I had to use the cute little Seckel Pears I had previously seen at Bi-Rite market. I wanted to add a little something extra so I threw some Cardamon pods in with the pears when they were simmering. Poaching was so much easier then I thought it would be and I can only imagine all the creative things one can do with flavorings as well as color.
The pastry cream called for a bit of rum and I used a spiced Jamaican rum hoping it would compliment the Cardamon. When putting the tart together I decided to leave the pears whole since they were so cute and I wanted everyone to enjoy the dynamic look I was hoping for.
The tart finished up nicely. The crust was a bit heavy (per my food critic Lenny) but otherwise, the flavor combination and the freshly poached pears was heavenly. I really enjoyed making this tart, as it was very easy, incredibly flavorful and the presentation will WOW your guests!
Thank you Dorie for a wonderful challenge.