A Pear In A Pie or Tart Shell…

Pear Tart With Salted Caramel Sauce

Pear Tart

Okay, I’m still discovering baking and its numerous techniques and processes, which is a wonderful journey however I am astonished to discover that the crust of a pie is not the same as the crust for a tart!

How little I know.  I’ve only been baking most of my life!

I recently found a “sweet pastry” recipe while exploring the book, Pastry by Richard Bertinet.  This tart crust recipe can be baked and eaten on its own it is so buttery and delicious.  Actually this was the result when I tried this recipe for the first time.  I mixed it and rolled it without any difficulty yet when I blind baked it, I decided to forgo the weights which caused the dough to shrink and “shape-shift” into an unrecognizable creature – kind’a scary and not worthy of anything edible; a do-over indeed.

However, a taste of a small broken crumb had us munching on this mistake.

I remixed the recipe and decided to bake this rustic-looking yet flavorful tart.

The buttery goodness of this tart shell requires a simple and fresh filling and I made the filling exactly that way.  The Bartlett pears were really not in the condition that I would ever eat them in yet I knew that once baked, they would be perfect.

Normally apple and pear tarts and pies contain cinnamon-ny flavors but I wanted something lighter, more delicate to combine well with the heaviness of the salted caramel sauce I was planning to make.  I decided to create my own mixture of flavors.  I merely added a bit of vanilla, lemon and sugar and tossed these together.

The flavor of this tart is, well, in the flavor of this tart and really my images cannot convey its buttery, crisp, freshness.  Sorry, you’ll have to actually use your sense of taste this time.

This was one of the most flavorful desserts I have ever made!

This is a definite make-again; and again, and again…

Pear Tart

The pre-baked tart in all its rustic glory!

Pear Tart

Hot, bubbly goodness, right outta the oven!

Pear Tart

Warm enough for slicing and adding toppings of whipped cream or frozen yogurt!

Pear Tart

Here’s the recipe.

Pear Tart with Salted Caramel Sauce

Tart (Sweet Pastry)

Ingredients
½ C whole wheat pastry flour
½ C white flour
¼ t salt
3 T sugar
1 stick cold butter
1 egg
1 T cold water

Process:  combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl; “grate in” the cold butter (I use a cheese grater) and hand mix until small crumbs are formed.  Add egg and mix with a fork (or hand) and add water.  Drop dough onto a lightly floured surface and form a disk; wrap in plastic or parchment and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.  Roll out dough to 1/8”, 12” diameter circle.  Add pear mixture leaving a 1” edge to fold over.  Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes until pears are tender.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:  4 T butter, 3 T brown sugar, 3 T white sugar, 1/8 t salt, 1 t vanilla, 2 T milk or cream

Process:  heat all ingredients on low heat constantly stirring.  When bubbly, cook for one minute longer and remove from heat, continue to stir.  Pour over tart slices or entire baked tart.

Pear Filling

Ingredients
3 large, firm Bartlett pears, peeled and sliced into ¼” slices
1 t vanilla
2 T lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
¼ C flour
¼ C sugar

Process:  place sliced pears in a large bowl; mix the remaining ingredients together then add to the pear slices and toss.  Add to prepared tart shell dough and bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes until pears are tender.

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