Pear Tartes

 

Pear Tarte

Pear Tarte with Stilton Cheese

This tarte is extremely simple to make and it has some great side benefits. The Stilton cheese is a great contrast to the pears and sort of a play on the tradition of  serving a piece of cheese with apple pie.

Ingredients

  • One pie crust — pre made roll out type not frozen.  (you may make your own if you want). You can freeze the other pie crust for desserts like Key Lime Pie.
  • 6 Bosc pears – these should be firm not soft or ripe for eating.
  • 1/2 cup mixturee of brown and white sugar  mixed with
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and about one tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 lb Stilton cheese crumbled — can substitute Bleu cheese.
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 egg yolk beaten

Equipment

  • A 10″ quiche or tarte dish.
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paring or grapefruit knife (see tip)
  • A pastry brush

Peparation

Peel the pears and cut each into 4 quaters. Using a sharp paring knife or grapefuit knife,

TIP Cut the core and pitts from each pear section and set aside. Remove as many pits from these cores as you can without becoming anal about it.  You can use this technique for apples as well.

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  • Cut the pear quarters into slices about 1/4″ thick.
  • Place these slices in a saute pan that allows them space. ( I have a 14″ pan that works fine. It is recommended in the “Equipment” page.)
  • Squeeze the lemon over these slices and add enough water to almost cover, not submerge,  the slices.
  • Put the slices on hiugh heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and test the firmness of the slices.  They should be al dente like pasta.
  • Remove slices with a slotted spoon or long handle strianer (see equipment) and set aside on a plate to cool.
  • Do not discard cooking liquid!!!

Panache Flash!

BENEFIT TIME — Pear smple syrup with sweet pear bits.

  • Put your reserved pear cores in the saute pan liquid add one cup of water
  • Then  add about 1 1/2 cup of white sugar. and mix it in until it dissolves.
  • Bring all of this to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer.
  • You will notice that the liquid is getting thicker as it simmers.
  • You want it to become a light syrup with translucent bits of pear in it.
  • TRUST me the pear cores have flavor!
  • When you feel you have a syrup, take it off the heat,  let it cool a bit and pour everything into a clean jar.
  • Cover and refrigerate when cool.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE? — Well let me tell you!

Panache it!   Cocktail Time

  • Use this simple sugar in place of Triple sec in your Margaritas and place a few pieces of candied pear slices in the cocktail glass.
  • This syrup is also  fabulous in Cosmos.
  • You can add this simple syrup to vinegar and olive oil alongwith some pear bits and make a salad dressing.

Now that we have lingered on cocktails lets move on.

Continuing.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure your oven rack is in the middle before you do this.

TIP   If you hate to clean flour from your countertop..this is for you! 

           I always use store bought roll out crusts but you can make your own dough.

  • Unroll your pie crust* and place it on a sheet of parchment paper  ( instead of flouring a surface).
  • Using whatever rolling pin you like or wind bottle, roll this pie crust out to incereas it’s size by about 2″ all around.
  • CHOICE  You can gently pick up the circle of dough and place it in your quiche pan  or pie plate
  • OR you can place your quiche dish of pie plate  in the center of the dough circle and use the parchment to flip the dough into the pan — it works.

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Once the pie crust is in the quiche dish  you should discover that there is of dough draped over the rim of the pan. This is means you have reached your goal.

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*  If you make your own pie dough, you can start with the dough in the center of the parchment paper. 

Making the Tarte

  • Put the pear slices in a bowl and  gradually add the sugar/cornstarch/cinnamon mixture. You can toss the pear slices with your hands like a salad. You want to coat them with the sugar mixture.

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  • When this is done, start placing the pear slices inside the crus. You can do this artistically by making circles of slices or randomly — whatever way is fine.
  • When all the pear slices are in the crust, fold the dough over the edge of the pears creating a free form pie — see the picture above if you need guidance.
  • During the cooking peeriod you will need to cover the exposed pear slices with a round of aluminum to make sure juices remain in the crust and the slices don’t burn.

TIP

  • The easiest way to create this circle is to find a round plate approximately the size of the exposed pears (larger is better).
  • Place the plate on a sheet of foil and cut the foil around the plate.
  • You will have a circle that you can place on the pears and adjust by folding the sides.

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  • You may use tooth picks  stick into  pear slices to hold the circle in place.
  • After you have covered the pears, brush the pastry with egg yolk and sprinkle a dusting of white sugar on the crust. It will adhere to the yolk.

Check oven theromometer  to see that oven is at 350 degrees.

  • Put the tarte in the oven on the middle rack and cook for 20 minutes.  At this time you should remove the aluminum circle and allow the tarte to cook for approximately 10 more minutes.  If the crust is golden brown and the pears bubbling only cook the tarte 10 minutes.  You have pre-cooked the pears so they will be fine.
  • Remove the tarte and set it  on a rack or trivet to cool.
  • When the tarte is room temperature, sprinkle the crumbled cheese on top of the pears. Don’t be stingy because you want to taste the contast between the fruit and cheese.  Please!!! don’t go crazy and bury the fruit.

THAT’S IT.

Penache Flash!

You may use apples or plums to make this tarte.  With apples, you may want to place slicers of sharp cheddar on the fruit.  Withe plums you may want toy use dollops of something like Marscarpone.  If you don’t like cheeze, try creme fraiche.

TRADITIONAL PEAR PIE

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

NOTE:  If you want a traditional pear pie, you do not have to pre-boil the pears.  Skip this step.

  • You will still want to expand the dough by using the parchment rolling pin method. You will want dough overhang as this will be folded over the top crust.
  • Slice and sugar the pears as above and place them in the quiche or pie pan.
  • Use the second store bought roll up crust and cover the pears.  You may  not need to roll this crust out
  • Fold the edges of the lower crust over the top crust and pinch them together in whatever pattern you choose.
  • Create vents in the top crust.

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  • Brush the top crust with egg yolk and dust with sugar.  tHisw ill create a lovely sugary glaze.
  • Place in preheated 450 degree oven and cook for 10 minutes
  • Then reduce oven to 350 degrees and cook approximately 25-30 minutes more.

ENJOY!