Tuesday, January 6, 2009

French Pear Tart (TWD)


This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by none other than Dorie herself! This week marks the one year anniversary of our group, as we bake our way through Baking: From my home to yours. I can't believe that last year when I joined, the group was just three other bakers. One year later, we are now over three hundred members strong.



In honor of this milestone, Laurie (our founder) asked Dorie to choose the recipe of the week, and she picked the French Pear Tart. I love fruit tarts, so I was thrilled to see this one chosen. Unlike most fruit tarts, filled with pastry cream, Dorie's French Pear Tart is filled with an almond cream.



The tart has three basic components: the actual tart (Dorie's sweet tart dough recipe), the almond cream, and the pears. We've made Dorie's sweet tart dough before, so I knew I wouldn't have any problems with it. The almond cream was easier to make than I thought it would be. I made my own almond meal since I was taking the easy way out with the pears and using canned pears instead of poaching my own.


The only major problem I had with this recipe was in understanding what Dorie meant by "thinly slice each pear half crosswise." I was in a rush and did not take the time to google it, or check our "Problems & Questions" post on the TWD website so I just winged it. In my haste, I read the instructions to say "slice each pear in half crosswise," so I thought that meant to slice them in half lengthwise. Turns out that crosswise means that they should be sliced width-wise. This was more of an aesthetic issue, not a taste issue, though, so I wasn't too upset about this.



I did not have a 9-inch tart shell, so I used two 5.5-inch tart pans instead. I was somehow able to get two 5.5-inch tarts from 1 9-inch tart recipe, but I had to double the almond cream to fill them both. If you don't have any tart pans, don't fret. You can make do with whatever you have in your kitchen. A springform pan works well, it just won't have the fluted edges of a tart pan. You could even use any small, ovenproof bowl - you just won't be able to unmold the tart before consumption.


This tart was absolutely delicious! The almond cream complemented the pears wonderfully. I love that you can make this tart using canned pears. Even if you poach your own pears, this is a great recipe to use for entertaining. It is simple and classic. You can partially bake the tart shell ahead of time, as well as the almond cream. Then on the day of your party, simply spread the almond cream in your shell, arrange the pears on top, and pop the tart in the oven for an hour and voila! An easy yet impressive dessert your guests are sure to enjoy.


Thank you Dorie, for choosing the French Pear Tart. Thank you especially for providing us with all these wonderful recipes and being so supportive of our baking group. I have really enjoyed being a part of this group. I've learned so much about baking, discovered recipes I would have never tried on my own, and met a wonderful community of friends.


If you would like the recipe for the tart, you can find it here. Make sure you visit the TWD Blog Roll to see how everyone else enjoyed this tart.

* Recipe notes:
- You can easily make your own almond meal at home using whole almonds and a food processor. Simply toss them in some boiling water for about 30-60 seconds until most have floated to the top. Drain and rinse with cold water, then remove the skins. The rest of my tips for making your own almond meal can be found here.
- If you're making your own almond meal, 3/4 cup of whole almonds will yield about 1 1/2 cups of almond meal so you'll need to halve that if you're only making one 9-inch tart.
- I did not place my tart pan on a baking sheet. Things tend to be underbaked when I do that.
- Using 5.5-inch tart pans, you'll need 1 tart dough recipe if you make your tart thin (1.5x or 2x recipe if you like a thicker tart), a double recipe of almond cream, and two 29 ounce cans of pear halves.
- For more tips, click here.

43 comments:

  1. Jaime, your minis are adorable! I think doubling the almond cream is the way to go; that stuff is delicious. I make my own almond meal and just keep a bunch in the freezer. One more step that's done in advance. This tart is indeed perfect for entertaining.
    Nancy

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  2. Hooray for a fabulous pick from Dorie herself this week!! And of course your version of the tart is SENSATIONAL, as are all of your treats :-)

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  3. Looks lovely.

    I used my spring form pan.


    I'll be making this again when I get a tart pan of my own.

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  4. Gorgeous, love the two smaller tarts! Loved this tart! Love Dorie! Great job. You can even use NO pan at all, as I did mine just on a baking sheet. Just don't prebake too long, my crust got slightly overbaked, but it didn't stop me from eating it!

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  5. What a beautiful tartlettes Jaime, this is one I am sure they are delicious.
    Cheers,
    Elra

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  6. Your tart turned out beautifully! Love the color. I know that pastries are to be a golden brown but most often they are light on the golden and heavy on the brown. Yours is perfect!
    ~ingrid

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  7. This looks beautiful! Great pictures (as usual)!

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  8. Your tart turned out so pretty!

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  9. Your tarts look so pretty. I've come to the conclusion that this tart will be just about perfect, regardless of slicing and arranging the pears. Something about that puffy almond cream just adds the best aesthetic to the tart.

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  10. Your tart is beautiful! I love how you placed the pear pieces on top, very lovely. :)

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  11. Beautifully done, Jaime! Wasen't it amazing!?

    I love how you dared making the whole flower with the pear! Gives it a very spingy, girly look! I have to also mention that the picture on the dark background is really, really nice!

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  12. I love your tart and the black and white platter!

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  13. I sliced mine the wrong way too but it still tasted amazing! Glad you enjoyed it.

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  14. Great job Jaime! I'm so glad I'm a part of TWD!!

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  15. wow this looks so so nice, i love it i bet this vanished in a short time :)

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  16. c'est superbe :) ta tarte est hyper app├ętissante !

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  17. Oh my, your tartlets look absolutely amazing! YUM!

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  18. This is beautiful Jaime,it's magazine picture worthy!

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  19. I shouldn't have looked at this when I am so hungry! Not only does it look good, but so beautiful! Nice job!

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  20. Your tart was just lovely! I did the same thing with slicing the pears. Oh well. I did use a sheet pan, and my bottom was a tad underbaked. I'll have to remember for next time.

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  21. you always have such great pictures. i was able to use the 9-inch crust recipe for my 11 inch. I did have to double the cream, though. Your tarts look too pretty to eat.

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  22. Your tart looks beautiful! I find that I much prefer the flavor of cooked pears to raw.

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  23. They are so freakin cute! I love them. I really need to invest in the little tart pans. I always lust after them when I see these posts! Great job Jaime!

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  24. Your tarts look lovely! I have had a lot of fun baking with you in this group so far!

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  25. Your little tarts look wonderful! I like your arrangement of the pears, nice job!

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  26. Love the minis! I truthfully do not remember seeing "slice them crosswise" and just cut lengthwise out of instinct. Too funny!

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  27. Beautiful little tarts. Great job.

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  28. Your tarts look beautiful, Jaime! I agree, the TWD bakers are a fabulous bunch of people, and I've learned so much from everyone.

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  29. Those are just happy looking tarts! All sunny from here. I loved reading your post. Well said. I agree all the components go together very easily and Presto and beautiful dessert to impress. Great job and Congratulations on being a founding member!
    AmyRuth

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  30. Gorgeous!! I agree, it was delish~

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  31. Your tarts a lovely, and I think that the pears would be great no matter what you did with them. I was very confused also by "thinly slice each pear half crosswise." And so I just went with what I know.

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  32. I think yours is gorgeous with the pear halves! :) Love your black & white plate, too!!!

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  33. I think one of the great things about this tart, actually, the two great things is 1. the AMAZING combo of flavors! and 2. that you can use whatever you have...I used my regular old muffin tin.

    You did a beautiful job!

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  34. This looks absolutely amazing!!

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  35. The mini's look fabulous, Jaime! Great job. I have to try this one soon.

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  36. it looks beautiful!! yea i think the pear slicing is more of an aesthetic thing, and yours looks lovely, so you did it right ;) glad you enjoyed it!

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  37. Mmmm, yours looks perfect and wonderful. I am jealous of your light brown crust. Mine got too dark.

    Nice job!

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  38. Beautiful mini tarts. I love the way you arranged the pears. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

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  39. Your pears look so moist and glistening, I am craving some pear tart just looking at them. :) The minis are adorable, and I think the pear arrangement is just perfect.

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  40. Your tart looks amazingly perfect!! I wish it didn't go so fast, I'd like a piece right now!

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  41. Oh my, your tart is absolutely beautiful!

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