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Jan 23, 2005 01:37 PM

Follow-up on the remarkable pear tart

  • l

I made this wonderful dessert yesterday for company, and everyone loved it. Today I discovered the thread in early January and wanted to add my experience on the "creaming" question. I, too, wondered about how to "cream" -- to say I am not an experienced baker would be a major understatement -- and followed my wife's advice to use the food processor. The method is probably familiar (a stick of frozen butter cut into eighths and combined by pulsing with the sugar, next letting it run a bit until completely mixed, and then blending in the vanilla and the eggs by pulsing in the food processor). I then mixed in the flour and sugar with a wooden spoon in a mixing bowl. (I was warned not to use the processor at this stage as that would toughen the pastry.) Perhaps some will not approve of this approach, but the result was terrific.

I used very juicy, ripe Comice pears (three was all I could squeeze in)and took the advice of a previous Chowhound poster to glaze the tart with melted apricot jelly after taking it out of the oven. It all worked beautifully.

One question: since I would like to have the leftovers that others report inprove with time, can I add ingredients by a quarter or a half and use a larger pan?

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  1. Funny coincidence. I made it last night with comice pears as well. As my springform pan is 10" in diameter I made half again the cake recipe. It worked out great. Makes a wonderful breakfast, by the way...

    1. Served the pear tart with a small scoop of ginger gelato I found at TJ's. Divine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LBQT

        Just scoured TJ's in St Louis yesterday -- no ginger gelato. Any further tips-- brand, other locations? It does sound good.

      2. I made it during the storm, I didn't have any fresh pears so I used canned pear halves. Also I made another tart using fresh apples. Both came out terrific.

        1. I agree that the creaming process is really important to the texture of the tart. The first 2 times I made it, I was lazy and didn't properly cream the butter and sugar - the result was crumbly and too dense, not the magical dessert everyone was raving about. Last night I creamed the butter and sugar by hand and the results explain all the rave reviews. It was amazing! I also added a bit of almond extract which I thought added a nice flavor but hub says it was overpowering so next time I'll try halving the amount of extract or maybe just doing an almond icing drizzle on the top. Can't wait to try it with apples!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Liv Huang

            Having made this pear tart several times and loving it, I'm wondering if apples would be as good. I think part of the magic of this tart is really ripe, juicy pears and I don't think apples would give off that juice. I know others have said they made it with apples-was it as good? What do you think?

            1. re: jackie

              I have made a similar cake with apples, which is good in the fall when apples are in season (in 2003 I found some Bramleys at the farmers' market and it was sublime). I serve it with a caramel sauce. But I am keen to try it with the pears because I think the juiciness would add a completely different dimension. With the apples accessible to me at this time of year, I think the apple version would be drier and more boring than the pear.

          2. Why do you start with FROZEN butter?

            1 Reply
            1. re: kc girl

              That was the method recommended when we first got a cuisinart food processor (late 1970s). I still find it in a 1984 booklet that accompanied our next cuisinart. Does it not apply with newer models? The result in this case was very satisfactory.