Monday, August 9, 2010

Pear Custard Tart

Serves 8


I’m not sure why there is such a proliferation of desserts on here lately—we really aren’t eating all that much dessert. We have had company since Fielding was born, and that was the occasion for this particular delight. And when I say delight, I mean deeeee-light. My mother has declared this “one of the all-time great desserts” that she has tasted in her life time. That’s saying a lot, coming from someone with a sweet tooth and who has all manner of sweet lusciousness to choose from when picking a life-time frontrunner for number one. The great advantage to this tart is that you can whip it up in about 15 minutes, making it ideal for casual weeknights and unexpected guests.


1/2 C cold butter, cut into chunks

1/4 C white sugar

1 1/2 C flour (I always combine whole wheat and white flours)

pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

1-2 Tbs cream, half and half or milk



2-3 pears peeled and sliced

1/4 butter at room temperature

1 C sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

pinch salt

1/4 C flour

For crust: place flour, sugar, butter and salt in the food processor and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add vanilla and milk until dough comes together into a ball. Press crust into greased 9-in pie pan, tart pan or spring form pan and refrigerate until ready to fill. (I always use foil in my spring form pan because I have bad luck getting it to release well on such crusts…I don’t know why.)



For the filling: Set the pears aside. Place remaining ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth. Peel, core and slice the pears; arrange them in a circular pattern in the crust and pour the filling over. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.


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For a variation: substitute almond extract for vanilla, sprinkle sliced, toasted almonds on top, and/or add 1/2 ground almonds to the crust.

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