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October 28, 2012

I Baked Myself Happy: Pear Tart

We've had a certain amount of commotion this week and its left me at wits end. So I did what I could to pull myself together and then I baked myself happy.

This is a stunning pear tart. 

For whatever reason I'm stuck on french pastries. And why not? Usually they are light and delicious and not over sugared. I figured since I had my Cordon Bleu cookbook out I might as well make this pear tart...its an oldie but a goodie. And I still have a few stupendous pears left. Big ones.

Of course there is no one recipe for this so I'll try and slapdash together some instructions. When I was cooking my way thru the Cordon Bleu At Home I was excited about all the pastries that were included....but was not really thrilled with all the results. So I pieced together a couple different ones and came up with a beautiful tart that actually reminded me of when I used to go to Paris, back in the day.

Start with a pâte sucrée, which is just a fancy way of saying a sweet pie crust made with a lot of butter, some sugar, and an egg. Don't over stress if it calls for cake flour - all purpose is fine. There are a lot of recipes out there. I actually think this is easier than regular pie crust. You'll need to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Put it in your tart pan (the kind with a fluted edge and a removable bottom) and chill it again. Then blind bake it until the crust starts to brown just a touch.

And you'll need some pears, cored and peeled. You can be fancy and slice them very thinly and kinda squish them over with your hand to make that accordion shape. Or just flop them in your baked tart crust. About halfway thru I got irritated with all the slicing so I used the "just flop them in" method.

Then the filling. I took this from one of the apple tart recipes... it was something like 2/3 cup cream, 2 eggs, 3 Tablespoons of sugar, and a splash of vanilla beaten together. After you've decoratively arranged your pears - or just thrown them in haphazardly - in the baked shell, pour the cream mixture evenly over the pears. Then kinda give it a little jiggle to make sure the filling fills in all the spaces.

Then bake until set and lightly browned.... maybe 45 minutes at about 350*?

This tart is best chilled.  And wow!  The flavors are each a little boring on their own.. but together they are a masterpiece.

Happy Sunday everyone! Guess what I'm having for breakfast? Anybody else baking themselves happy?