Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spicy Pear Tart

If there's one thing I developed during my time in Ireland, it was a deep and abiding love for tarts.  Most of this thanks can go to Queen of Tarts in Dublin, but seriously, I never met an Irish tart I didn't like.  Wait...that came out wrong.  Pastry, I'm talking about pastry!!  Whether sweet or savory, they were all fantastic.  So naturally, upon returning stateside I had to develop my own penchant for tart making as a trans-Atlantic flight is a bit much to fulfill a craving.

We're getting pears in the Crop Share this week, and thus, a pear tart must happen.  You could go one route and make a pear tart using our handy-dandy, all-purpose, No-Fail Tart Crust Recipe, and instead of almond extract use a heavy hand with some vanilla.  Mmmm!  Or, we can all dip back into the pages of The New Irish Table by Margaret M. Johnson and enjoy her take on a pear tart.  If you're a fan of pineapple upsidedown cake, this will remind you somewhat of that except it remains right-side up.  Pretty sure I'll be giving a gluten and egg free go of this for Monday!

Spicy Pear Tart

1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
4 pears, peeled and cored
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup canola oil

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.  Wrap a 10 inch springform pan with aluminum foil, to prevent any leaking.

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until the butter and sugar have caramelized.  Pour the caramel into the prepared springform pan and set aside.

Take one of the pears and grate it into large shreds.  Slice the remaining pairs to about 1/4" thickness.

In a medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients.  In a separate, larger, bowl, beat the eggs and oil together, then stir in the shredded pear.  Stir in your dry ingredients and mix until well combined.  Pour into pan over top of caramel.  Arrange the sliced pears on top in a fan pattern (see above photo).

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the base is bubbly and the pears are soft.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly before releasing sides of pan and removing the ring.

Slice and serve warm.

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