French Pear Tart
As a regular listener of NPR, I was introduced to Dorie Greenspan and her love of baking a few years ago. She was very generous to share her prized recipes on the air, and I must have been the first to hit the website, print and bake. Her recipe for rugelach is still a favorite. Ms. Greenspan has since published her 9th cookbook, Baking: From my kitchen to yours, now my favorite source for sweet things! The book includes interesting anecdotes of Ms. Greenspan baking in a modest New York home when she was a young girl, to working with the likes of the highly esteemed Julia Child, Pierre Herme and Daniel Boulud!
My dearest, sweetest neighbor, Carolina, recommended I join Tuesdays with Dorie. It didn't take much coaxing and fortunately the group opened to new members recently. So here I am, a baker at heart, doing what I enjoy most - sharing my experiences from the book with you. And I'm sure the neighbors on our short cul-de-sac won't mind either!
Ms. Greenspan herself chose the recipe for this week: French Pear Tart, on page 368. Being somewhat of a Francophile, I was very pleased and pulled out my collection of tart pans (which recently doubled, thanks to my generous friend, Deb). I chose a rectangular one, as you can see!
The pastry was easy to make, baked beautifully and retained its shape. The filling was fluffy and delicious with the addition of finely ground almonds. The only problem I encountered was finding fresh pears. You see, I Iive in the burbs, and quality is sometimes suspect. My fresh pears turned to mush and were brown on the inside when I poached them. They were duly tossed! Fortunately, Ms. Greenspan also recommended canned pears (which the French most commonly use). I am not a fan of canned foods, but Del Monte came through in a pinch! The pears were firm enough to slice and baked up beautifully.
Ms. Greenspan recommends eating this tart the same day it is baked, but I'm saving it for a special occasion tomorrow where I will share it with my family and friends. And to you, I recommend you go out and buy the book now, and join in the fun! Bon Appetit and