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Jan 28, 2005 10:12 AM

Daily Question About gallerygirl Pear Tart

  • m

Just how ripe must the pears be? I've had my pears sitting out for a week, and they're finally a bit pliant to the touch [is that redundant?], but still at least two or three days away from that "just about to turn brown and mushy" stage. May I begin, or should I wait even longer?

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  1. Your pears sound pefect! I wouldn't wait much longer. You don't want them to be mushy. I put mine in a paper bag for 2 days and they were still a bit hard, but juicy and flavorful. The tart was delicious!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Erin

      I agree. I made some with just-ripe pears (that I would eat), and it was wonderful.

      I tried again the next week with overripe pears that I wasn't going to eat, and the cake was too mushy (at least for me. If you like bread pudding it might be okay).

    2. I don't eat pears. I don't know when they are ripe. So, I waited a couple of days. They were a pretty red color but I thought they were hard.

      I cut into one and it was very juicy.

      One of the notes said to jam in as many pieces as I could. I have very large pears and I jammed in three. That was too many.

      But the tart turned out awesome.

      I like cooked pears.

      I made it a second time with two pears and the tart was still stuffed with pears. And it still turned out awesome.

      I don't think you can go wrong with the recipe.

      - kim

      3 Replies
      1. re: Kim D

        "I don't think you can go wrong with the recipe."

        --well, I did. But I'm sure I screwed it up. It ended up being really, really buttery. Is it supposed to be buttery? Am I supposed to like it buttery? I didn't have jumbo eggs so I just used the ordinary ones I have. I think they were medium. Maybe this was the culprit, as I'm fairly confident I measured everything else right. But only fairly... early senility, you know...

        Also, how are you supposed to store it once cooked? I kept it in it's original cooking implement and put a bit of cling film over. The next day it was too soggy for my liking--lost quite a bit of bite, and not pleasantly so. I know you're supposed to cool cakes on a rack but I never bother and its normally okay, but this may have been adversely affected.

        1. re: drdawn

          Made it for the first time a few nights ago. Yes, jumbo eggs probably would have been better. I also wonder if you didn't cream the butter and sugar for long enough. I used my stand mixer and let it go for a while til it was fluffy and pale yellow. The cake wasn't too buttery, but...

          Well, I may be the first person to confess that I wasn't that crazy about the pear tart (hold your pear-stoning, please). Smelled wonderful while baking, looked lovely when done, but taste and texture didn't WOW me. I found myself wanting a couple more subtle elements to make it interesting: hint of powdered ginger, maybe nutmeg, maybe some chopped walnuts under the pears for some textural contrast.

          Where I might be to blame: Pears were ripe, maybe too ripe. In my quest to maximize their juiciness, I think I let them ripen too long. Probably made the cake too mushy. Also, I may have let it bake for a tad too long. Checked on it at 40 min.--top was golden but bit too wet so let it go for another few min. When I unmolded it, the sides and bottom were too dark, just shy of being burnt. The natural sugar in the pears def. contributed to this.

          My personal conclusions: This has the potential to be a good cake. It was very easy to make and is worthy of serving guests. Batter reminded me of clafoutis (which is more runny w/ addition of cream) or my coffee cake (which is less dense and has sour cream). I actually prefer clafoutis to this cake since I like the additional body and flavor that cream lends. I'm sure I'll make it again w/ my own personal tweaks. Served it w/ ginger gelato--tasty but overpowering. Next time it will be vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

          As far as storage: I left mine on the counter covered in plastic wrap overnight and through next day, then moved it to the fridge. I actually think it tastes best a little warm on the first day, esp. if you underbake it. I'm sure most people finish it more quickly though...

          1. re: drdawn

            My impression of it is that it supposed to be buttery- someone compared it to a poundcake in a much earlier posting.

            I made a mistake as well- one of the tarts I made was too undercooked. Make sure if you are using juicy pears that you don't confuse it's being severely undercooked with just overly juicy as I did - wait for the cake to rise in the center.

        2. What variety of pears work best in this recipe?

          1. Forget the pears, I thinks it's much better with apples.