Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fine Custard Pear Tart - French Style

With pears in season, it's a perfect time to take advantage of their current freshness and sweetness.

This is a simple tart, that is moist, sticky and slightly crunchy all in one.  Imagine a fine crust, topped with an equally fine layer of real egg custard with sweet slices of pear on top.  Add a dollop of slightly sweetened vanilla cream or eat it simply on its own.

Pear Tart

  Pastry Dough 
     200gr White Flour
     1 Packet Vanilla Sugar
     100gr Softened Butter
     1 Egg
     Pinch of Salt

     2 Egg Yolks
     250ml Cream
     60gr Sugar
     1 Packet Vanilla Sugar
     2 Tbs Corn or Potato Flour

     3-4 Medium to Large firm but ripe Pears
     4-5 Tbs Apricot Jam

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the vanilla sugar, salt, butter and egg.  Combine either with the dough hook of your electric mixer or by hand.
  2. Once fully combined, knead the dough on a slightly floured bench top until the dough is smooth.  Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest.
  3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to the size of your baking tray - I like to use my square cake pan 33cm x 23cm and place into the greased and floured tin ensuring the dough rises up the sides of the tin by about 2.5cm.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 175-200 degrees Celsius.  Place the racks in the middle of the oven.
  5. Core and slice the pears into 1/2cm thick slices (I like to leave the skin on the pears, but if you wish, feel free to peel them.) and arrange, overlapping, in an attractive manner over the pastry covering the entire base.  
  6. Prepare the custard by beating the egg yolks with the cream and mix in the sugar, vanilla sugar and corn / potato flour and then pour evenly over the prepared tart.
  7. Bake for approximately 50 minutes until the custard has set and the tart is a deep golden colour.  You will notice the tart will have come away from the sides of the pan a little.
  8. Place the apricot jam into a small pot and stir in 2 tablespoons of water - briefly bring to the boil.  Whilst the tart is still hot glaze the entire top with the hot apricot jam.  Allow to cool or serve warm.
  9. Enjoy...

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