Tuesday, January 6, 2009

TWD: French Pear Tart

It is my opinion that pears and almonds belong together....or at least that is what I learned from making this tart. The two flavors are complimentary foods and were quite delicious together. This tart had a couple of steps to it.
The first was making the crust which was amazing. The key ingredients are butter and powdered sugar. Those flavor combinations made for a rich crust that tasted great. I had a challenging time with a few of the steps because I don't own a large food processor and a few steps called for using that so I used my kitchen aid with the whisk attachment. My dough ended up a little dry. I was surprised to see that it didn't call for any liquid, just egg yolk...so I cheated a bit and used a little bit of ice cold water to help make it more of a dough. I also don't have a tart pan and it just isn't in our budget to buy a bunch of new things for one recipe so I used my spring form pan. The spring form worked well, but the end product did not look as beautiful as I would have desired.

The next step was an almond cream. Given the title of the filling I thought it would have called for cream or milk or something similar, but it didn't. It was still quite delicious. The base of the flavors were ground almonds and butter. I almost licked out the kitchen aid after making it but made myself wait for the end product when it was combined with the pears.

Then of course the pears. I am still not sure if I arranged them how it was described in the book, but I think it ended up beautifully. Here are the pictures. Sorry about the lighting...I finished it after dark and we were having it for dessert that night...sorry.

The crust is supposed to be partially baked before adding the almond cream and pears and the top of my crust got darker than I wanted so when I finished baking it I put tinfoil over the top to help with burning. It helped a little but I wish I had done it initially. (lesson learned)

The edges are not the beautiful design from a nice tart pan, but I actually ended up liking the look of the crust this way too.

Here is the end result. We ate it for dessert and both Glenn (my husband) and Spencer (visiting brother-in-law) were surprised that it was so good. They were coming off spaghetti squash served with dinner and both were less than impressed so the pear tart made both boys happy.

I learned more about my baker self this time around. I really enjoy baking. It is fun and I love the yummy creations that come from it....but I also learned that I like making treats that aren't so time consuming. I found myself feeling guilty spending time in the kitchen when my hubby was home or a child wanted to be read to, played with, or diaper changed. The types of desserts I like to make in this stage of life have to be a one bowl type deal. However it is good for me to stretch myself. I guess it is good I only do this every four or five weeks. I also learned that I am not much of an aesthetic baker. I do not have a finesse for making my work beautiful. That is something I am sure I will get better with time.

This week's TWD was chosen by Dorie herself, which made the task a little more intimidating...but I made my way through it okay. Here's the link to the full recipe.


Whitney said...

April, I loved what you wrote about what you learned about yourself as a baker from doing something like this. I LOVE tarts and have all the ingredients to do this but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe tomorrow. :) Way to expand your baking skills!

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

This looks really lovely. I wasn't sure how the design was supposed to look, either, but I love your scattered pear slices. Gorgeous.

Leslie said...

I really love how the springform pan makes it look. Very rustic. Glad it was a hit at your house (spaghetti squash does sometime require a little after dinner perk up!

chocolatechic said...


I too, used my spring form pan.

wildthayn said...

What's wrong with spaghetti squash? Haha!! I'm glad they liked the tart. I wish I had time to make all of these desserts. It sure looks scrumptious. You did a great job! Its beautiful!!

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

This was a wonderful foray in baking for everyone, I'm so happy we loved it! You did a beautiful job!

Danielle said...

your tart is so pretty good job!
It was a great recipe easy and tasty.

Jacque said...

Hey, as long as it tastes good, that's all that really counts.

Your pear arrangement is pretty, I think. I'd like to try more of a spiral next time (there will be a next time), similar to yours.

Mike and Elizabeth said...

Pretty much, you're amazing and so is your tart! I know what you mean about feeling guilty when you bake and your family wants attention. Good thing it's only once every five weeks and it's nice to try thing something different! love you!

Chapman Family said...

Oh I am going to LOVE this! I have been a fan of your guys site for a while now, but have only tried two recipes so far. This will have to be the third... If I have all the stuff here in Hungary that the recipe calls for... :) Good job ya'll!

Maris said...

So elegant! This is must be such a nice dessert.