Tag Archives: curry

Curried Pear Tart

Last year, I made a pear tart that was based substantially on the peach tart. It did take some experimenting to get the proportions correct, but to me, it was a simple take-off from the peach tart. I wanted to do something different. After thinking about the flavors, I decided that curry powder would be a good addition to the flavor to balance the sweetness of the pear. So I started experimenting again. I asked my daughter Jenn about flavor combinations with curry, and she reported back to me that I should consider almond, coconut and saffron to go with most of the other flavors I already had in the custard.

tart 002

In our many versions of the tart (Jenn and James became by taste testers) I got the curry too heavy and lost all the other flavors, and then had to adjust several times to get to the recipe I am giving you herein.

If you live in Northwest Oregon, then you know that pears are plentiful. What started me working on the tart this time was that I got a gift of a dozen pears or so from my neighbor. Which becomes a warning about the ingredient list; it says 2 pears, but in truth, I can’t really say how many pears. I had one experiment in which I couldn’t get 2 large pears all into the tart, and other experiments where the pears were small and I had to use more like 4 to fill the tart. The ones I see in the store are larger, and two should be plenty.

The other day I found Ginger Paste in a tube at the store; I find it a good substitute for grating ginger root. It was in the produce section with the small packages of herbs.

Toasting coconut flakes goes fairly fast, so watch it carefully so they don’t burn. I had to throw one batch out because it burned.

To grind the almonds, I first place them in a baggie and seal it. Then I pound them to crush them into pieces. Finally, I place them in the food processor and process them to a course flour consistency before adding the other ingredients. I don’t like spinning the whole almonds directly in the food processor as they are very hard and are like little bullets at first. I think they are capable of breaking the plastic and just feel better about banging on them with the rolling pin, or even a hammer first to reduce the mass of the individual pieces.

Pear Tart

Pastry

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger root*
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup shortening.

* if you don’t want to buy and grate ginger root, substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
or a full tablespoon of Ginger Paste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place ground almonds, flour, ginger, sugars and extract 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 pie pan. Bake for 9 minutes.

Cool the tart shell before continuing.

Custard:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp grated ginger root or ginger paste
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract.
  • pinch saffron threads

Place all the ingredients in the food processor and process until well blended.

Assembly

  • Cooled pastry shell
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut
  • 2 ripe pears peeled and sliced
  • the custard

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the toasted coconut in the bottom of the pastry shell

Arrange the slices of pears as radii on the coconut.

Pour the custard over the pears but don’t overflow the crust.

Foil the edges of the crust so they don’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.

Mulligatawny Soup

I received this recipe from my sister Rachael after telling her about the Mexican Soup I make and we use to have almost every lunch. I found this soup quite different from most Mulligatawny, and asked Corbin’s Grille for permission to publish the recipe on the WidowerRecipes web site. If you are in the northern Utah area, you might stop in at the Corbin’s Grille and try their cooking.

The notes in the recipe are by Rachael.

Mulligatawny 002

This recipe is published here with the permission of Jake Garn, Owner/Operator of Corbin’s Grille.

Mulligatawny

  • © 2007 Corbin’s Grille, LLC
  • All Rights Reserved. Copies and all other uses besides private in-home use strictly prohibited.
  • Corbin’s Grille
  • 748 W. Heritage Park Blvd.
  • Layton, Utah 84041
  • Corbin’s Grille’s web site

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Carrots 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Celery 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Onions 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Leeks sliced 1/4″
  • 3 Tablespoons Bacon Grease
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoons Curry powder (note: Madras)
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 oz White wine
  • 5 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy cream
  • 1/2 Cup Cooked rice (note: risotto also very good- drain & rinse)
  • 1/2 Cup Diced ham
  • 1/2 Cup Diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 Cup Corn (note: frozen)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot sauce (note: Cholula)

Directions

Cook carrots, celery, onions and leeks in bacon grease and butter over medium heat until soft. Add curry powder and cook for an additional minute. Stir in flour and cook slowly for 3-4 minutes.

Add white wine and chicken stock. Reduce heat to simmer and whisk continuously until thick. Add rice, ham, chicken, corn and hot sauce. Stir in heavy cream and adjust seasonings and thickness.

I have reviewed several other recipes for Mulligatawny and find they are missing ingredients that are in this recipe. The most obvious examples are the leek, the bacon grease, the wine, the ham, the corn and the hot sauce. While these make a more complex recipe, I liked the results and think you will, too.

At first pass, I thought the soup would be difficult to bring together because of all the ingredients. The hard places for me would be the meats, and the bacon grease; my chicken and ham are frozen in 8 ounce pieces and so I would have to defrost pieces and cut them, and then determine how to use the rest. And, I separate my bacon into packages of 4 pieces each as soon as I get it home, and then cook it in the microwave on paper towels, so I don’t have bacon grease in the freezer. My sister suggested buying the meat at the deli section of the grocery store and asking for them to cut 4 ounces as a thick slab. For the bacon grease, I fried a package of bacon and used that grease; it was probably 2-3 Tablespoons. I used the bacon elsewhere, but I wonder if maybe I could have just crumbled it right into the soup.

If you have not worked with Leek before, then the rule is to separate the leaves and wash them several times to get all the sand and mud off them. Swish them around in a sink of water, changing the water two or three times as the mud settles out.

My other area of desiring to experiment is with the rice; the recipe calls for cooked rice, but we see in the Mexican Soup recipe that the rice is put into the soup and cooks as the soup simmers for an hour. I wonder if something similar could be done here; for example, cook the rice in some of the chicken stock on the side. Most white rices (Arborio, white) cook up at a ratio of 1 to 3; i.e., 1 cup of rice grains makes 3 cups of prepared rice. (For brown rice, the ratio is 1 to 2.5.) So, using white rice, you would need ½ cup / 3 or 1/6 cup of rice grain as a starting point. If my math is correct, this is 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of rice grain. I need to test this idea. Rachael says that she always has a pot of cooked rice in her refrigerator, but I don’t and am looking for a way to not make extra cooked rice. If I learn something, I may update these comments at some future date.

Risotto rice is different in that it is cooked with flavorings, but I would think most of those are lost in the soup, so I don’t know if that makes a difference.

According to Rachael, the amount of hot sauce to add also seems to be very personal. Her friend only uses ½ teaspoon, while Rachael uses 2 teaspoons; I feel it could even use more and would probably try a full Tablespoon next time. And, I bought the Cholula hot sauce just for the soup, but I think you could use your own favorite brand. I did find the Madras curry to be hotter than what I had been buying as a curry powder; it seems to be more true to the tastes of India.

I think with these hints and suggestions, you should be ready to try this wonderful, hearty soup.