Pear Tart


I’ve been baking pie crusts from scratch for years, but I was never completely satisfied with the results. Thanks to tips from CampariGirl and Emmy as well as using proper (pastry, low-gluten) flour I am now finally happy. I made this pear tart based on CampariGirl’s recipe for peach tart and the crust was perfect: crunchy and flaky, even under the moist filling. This is a a very simple but lovely dessert: tender fragrant sweet pears on a great crust. Nothing fancy, but who needs fancy if simple tastes this good? Feel free to make this with another type of seasonal fruit like apples or indeed peaches.

Ingredients


For a 27 cm (11″) pie dish

3 pears (ripe but firm)

250 grams (1 1/2 cups) pastry flour

125 + 40 grams (1 stick + 3 Tbsp) butter

(Please note that the amounts in cups and sticks is slightly less than in grams, but it will be enough and in the correct ratio of flour to butter while it is easier than measuring 8.8 Tbsp butter and 1.56 cups flour)

2 + 2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

apricot jam (4-6 Tbsp)

bit of lemon juice

Preparation


Combine sieved flour with the salt and 2 Tbsp sugar in the food processor with a paddle attachment (suitable for pie dough) and process until mixed.


Add 125 grams (1 stick) cold butter in cubes.


Process until there are still some ‘pea sized’ pieces of butter left. (This is one of the things I learned from CampariGirl and Emmy. The pieces of butter will make the dough more flaky.)


Add 3 Tbsp cold water and the egg yolk, lightly beaten. Process until the dough just comes together.


Shape the dough into a thick disc. Dust a work surface with flour and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough.


Try to roll out the dough in a circular shape that is big enough for your pie dish including the sides. (So for a 27 cm (11″) pie dish with 2.5 cm (1″) sides, you need a circle with a diameter of 32 cm (13″).


Line the pie shape with the dough.


Cut away any excess dough.

Let the dough in the shape rest for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Many recipes specify to let the dough rest before rolling it out, but it is much more difficult to roll out the dough when it’s cold. This is a tip I picked up from CampariGirl. Letting the dough rest helps to relax the gluten, so the crust won’t shrink and will be more flaky and crunchy.


Line the crust with parchment paper and fill up the pie with pie weights. I use ceramic beads, but you can also use beans.

Bake for 15 minutes at 190C/375F.  This is another idea that I picked up from CampariGirl: 190C/375F works better than 180C/350F.

This step is called ‘blind baking’, since the pie is baked first without the fruit. This is done to get a crunchy pie crust rather than a soggy one.

Peel the pears while the pie is baking, cut each pear into 8 wedges, and remove the core. Sprinkle some lemon juice on the pears to prevent them from turning brown.


Remove the parchment paper and pie weights.


Bake for another 10 minutes at 190C/375F until slightly golden. Take the pie out of the oven and increase the temperature to 200C/400F.


Cover the bottom of the crust with a thin layer of apricot jam.


Arrange the pear wedges in the pie.


Melt the remaining 40 grams/3 Tbsp butter.


Pour the melted butter over the pears and sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbsp sugar.


Bake for 40 minutes at 200C/400F until the crust is brown and the pears are soft and golden but not mushy or burnt.

There will be quite a bit of liquid but that is normal. Most of it will turn solid when the tart cools off.


I served it just like that, but you could also serve it with whipped cream, ice cream or even blue cheese.

Wine pairing

If served just like that, pair with Moscato d’Asti.

If served with ice cream, pair with Moscato Passito or fortied Muscat/Moscatel.

If served with blue cheese, serve with Sauternes.

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12 thoughts on “Pear Tart

  1. This looks amazing and I love the suggestion to pair it with blue cheese! Also, next time I am going to try your tip of rolling the dough before letting it rest–easier is (almost) always better in my book. 🙂

    Like

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