Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Poached Pear Tart

I've been wanting to delve into more Italian pastries lately. I think it's something of a desire to make something more rustic and less composed than traditional French pastries. What I need is an Italian equivalent to Tartine Bakery's cookbooks, which lean heavily on the French side but is filled with completely awesome recipes (except the tea cakes, which have so far turned out disastrously for me--one sunken and the other spilled over and burned all over the oven). I decided to turn to Lidia Bastianich for some tried and true Italian specialties. She came through with this poached pear tart whose crust was softer than French variations. The ingredients were simple: pears, sugar, lemon juice and apricot jam. The only downside was that the soft dough breached and syrup flowed out of the tart into the oven and then on the counter making a bit of a sticky mess. I've never been known to shy away from a mess though.
Tart Dough:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces cold butter
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold water

2 1/3 cups sugar
zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 pounds firm pears
apricot jam
egg yolk

Mix all the ingredients for the tart dough in a standing mixer except the water. Add the water slowly until the dough just comes together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. Roll out and fit into fluted tart pan.

Preheat oven to 350. To make the filling, cut the pears in half and remove seeds. Saute the butter in a saute pan. Add the sugar and lemon zest and stir until it melts. Once the sugar is boiling, add the pears to the pan and cook on each side until softened and pierced easily with a fork. Spread apricot jam on the bottom layer of the dough in the tart pan. Add the pears. Turn up the heat on the sugar and reduce its volume by half. Pour over the pears. If you make a lattice top, glaze with whisked egg yolk. Bake for 40 minutes.

1 comment:

Jess said...

I am literally salivating. Is that TMI? Well, it's your fault. Just look at that thing! GAH.