Pear Tart

After developing what I thought was an exceptional Peach Tart, I felt the flavors I had chosen would also make an excellent Pear Tart. So I pushed ahead with that modification to the tart, and can now publish the recipe. Most of the notes and suggestions I made for the Peach Tart hold for the Pear Tart

pear tart 001

Pear Tart

Pastry

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger root*
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shortening.

* if you don’t want to buy and grate ginger root, substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

While this is a tart, and works nicely in a tart pan with a removable bottom, it can also be made and served in a regular pie pan. You will notice in the picture that I made the tart in one of the disposable pans you buy at the supermarket. And, interestingly enough, the pastry is strong enough that I was able to free the tart from the pan and lift it out onto a flat plate.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place flour, ginger, sugars and vanilla in a food processor. Start the food processor and add the shortening about 1 Tablespoon at a time.
Remove and press into an 8 or 9 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Cool the tart shell before continuing.

Filling:

  • 2 ripe pears peeled and quartered
  • 3 Tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch allspice
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp grated ginger root
  • 1/8 tsp rum or almond extract.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Arrangethe quarters of pears as radii in the cool tart shell. Process in a bowl with a whisk, or a hand mixer, the cream cheese, butter, milk, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then spices and extract. Pour over pears but don’t overflow the crust- you may have some custard left. foil the edges of the crust so it doesn’t burn.

Bake 30 minutes, or until brown at the edges.

Daughter Jenn, whom I consider the pear expert, told me to use either Bartlett or d’anjou pears for baking, and I used the Bartlett. The pears you get in the store are seldom ripe; from remembering my Mother canning pears, I wrap each pear separately in a piece of newspaper and wait several days until it turns yellow.

pear tart 004

There is no magic to peeling pears; there skin is solid enough that you peel them like an apple or carrot. Once peeled, I quartered the pears lengthwise, and using a melon baller, removed the seeds and stem. I went to quarters so that I was certain the custard would fill the area where I had removed the seeds; I feared that the custard might not get into the dome where the seeds had been. But, I created a slightly different problem; there were too many tips of pears in the center of the tart. I had to cut off the tips of every other pear quarter in order to make space for the other four tips. Those cut off tips were tucked under the pears in the area where the seeds had been.

The pear tart is certainly easier to make than the peach tart – there are fewer pieces to put together. And because pear season seems to follow peach season, this tart will allow you to extend the season for making ginger tasting tarts.

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