I’ve haven’t been diligently following the assigned recipes over at Tuesdays with Dorie, like I’ve mentioned I have been cooking or baking anything since Christmas and only in the last few days has the itch returned. So without further ado, the french pear tart assigned a few weeks back that I wanted so badly to make but haven’t taken the opportunity till now. Also, quite frankly, I am shit broke, which means I cannot buy the needed ingredients for this week’s recipe: Berry Surprise Cake. I bought beautifully ripe but firm anjou pears a few days before being nearly bankrupt and had the remaining ingredients to bake this dessert.
I will admit this was one of the more difficult recipes to follow, complicated, arduous, strenuous, laborious, time consuming, and just a long process, more hours than predicted spent in the kitchen. I made this on Sunday in prep for a dinner held at a friend’s house, another girls only event that always ends with laughter and plenty gossip to appease awful but addictively absorbing shows such as gossip girl. It was a perfect dessert for the dinner which was a traditional home cooked Japanese meal that was all about light and airy qualities from mixed salad, pea with sesame seed side, seasoned port and eggs, and nabeyaki udon. It was an amazing meal, not mention the espresso jello dunked in milk dessert. The tart was a great complimentary dish to the meal, not to mention a friend brought icebox wine which was a super sweet syrupy thick dessert wine. Amazing.
The sweet tart dough was painful than usual, the combination of flour, sugar, butter and yolk just did not stick together and I ended up doing exactly what Dorie suggested not to do: overwork and overprocess the dough. I ended up added a tablespoon of water to get some gooey consistency going and mashed it into my tart pan. I really don’t know where I went wrong there but it was frustrating and resulted in flour bursting like snow over my head and down my hair and face. It was not fun. But all that labor was indeed worth it, the crust in the end was crunchy on the outside, soft and not so flakey but chewy on the inside, the bottom stable and not flakey but again a more chewy consistency. I’m suspecting the dough is supposed to be light, flakey with falling apart upon touch consistency. But it was still damn good so no complaints.
Another flaw is I used 4 pears rather than 3 leaving no space for the cream filling to breathe and slightly overlap the pears. This resulted in a extra mush that was the topping that a day later was more soggy and sagging than not. The cream is almond based and it was the first time blanching almonds (pour boiling water over bowl of almonds and drain after a minute and peel skin) and thank the lordy it was only 3/4 cup because it was a lot of almonds to peel. My fingers were getting pruney. The end result was amazing, the cream was not too nauesatingly creamy or sweet, it was mild and agreeable , and was a refreshing compliment to the light heartiness of the pears.
Despite this dessert being a total pain in the ass to make, I will give myself benefit of the doubt as it’s my first time baking a tart and the finished product of Grade A orgasmic.
Recipe found here.