Friday, October 24, 2014

Pear-Blackberry Tart

Last Friday, I wanted to make something special for our Friday Night Dinner.  I had just gotten a bunch of pears so I did a little searching on the net.  I found this amazing-looking pear-blackberry tart.  It is not a dessert that you can just "whip up" at a moments notice, but it sure was lovely, served nicely, and was delicious!

Below are my adaptations, but the instructions are the same as Russell's at Chasing Delicious.

Pear Blackberry Tart  ~ Chasing Delicious
Sugar Crust Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup sprouted soft flour
  • 5 T turbinado or sucanat
  • 1/8 t baking soda
  • 5 T chilled butter
  • 2 T palm shortening
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 t water
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • Special Equipment:  Tart pan with a removable bottom
 Crust Instructions

  1. Using a food processor blend the flour, sugar, butter, vegetable shortening, and mixing powder until the fat(butter and shortening) create pea sized chunks.
  2. Blend in the egg mixture and vanilla. Pulse the food processor until a dough ball forms (there will still be some stragglers).
  3. Form the dough with all the straggling bits into a ball and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to several hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F. Once it is chilled, press the dough evenly into the tart pan. You want an even layer along the bottom and up the sides.  Roll a rolling pin across the top of the tart pan to get a nice clean edge on the top of your crust.
  5. You will need to make sure the pastry does not fluff up or collapse in baking so line the dough with foil. Then place dried beans, pastry weights, marbles, stones, or rice on the foil.
  6. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet.  Bake in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, or until the dough is set. Remove the foil lining and rice (careful not to get any rice on the dough) and bake for another 10-12 minutes until it is golden. When it is done you will also notice the shell has shrunken slightly and pulled away from the tart pan.  (I used a 10" tart pan.  If using a larger size, you will want to decrease your baking time by about 2-4 minutes total.)
  7. Allow crust to cool for 2 minutes.  Remove crust from the pan by placing the bottom on a large jar or something tall with a flat surface–this will allow the side of the pan to fall down. Carefully slide the tart onto a cooling rack.

Now you get to start making the custard!

Custard Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 C sucanat
  • 1/3 C sprouted soft flour
  • 1 C boiling milk
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t almond extract

Custard Instructions
  1. If you have a stand mixer I suggest using it, otherwise prepare to do loads of mixing: Beat the egg and egg yolk slowly adding the sucanat until it is pale yellow. Beat in the flour.
  2. While you are mixing the egg, sugar and flour you should bring your milk to a boil. Very slowly, with a few large drops at a time, or a very thin stream add the boiling milk to the mixer. You must do it slowly or you will risk scrambling the eggs.
  3. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium. Stir slowly with a whisk until the mixture begins to come together. Now whisk like you’ve never whisked before until the mixture is thick like a paste.
  4. Lower the heat to medium-low and beat with a silicone or wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes (this cooks the flour).  Make sure the custard does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients (butter, vanilla extract & almond extract).
  6. Lay plastic wrap directly on top of the custard so that no "skin" forms on top.  Refrigerate.
 Tart Ingredients
  • 5 or 6 ripe, firm pears
  • 1/4 C amaretto or brandy (add ¼ t almond extract if using brandy)
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ C sucanat
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 C blackberry jam
  • 6 oz blackberries
Tart Instructions
  1. Peel, core, and halve the pears. Place them in a bowl with water and a little lemon juice to stop them from browning.
  2. Bring the amaretto (or brandy), water, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon to a boil. 
  3. Drain the pears.  If using almond extract, add that now.  Add the pears to the boiling syrup. Lower the temperature to low (to have the pears just below a simmer) for 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure not to overcook the pears as they need to retain their shape for the tart.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and let the pears cool in the syrup for 20 minutes. Drain the pears on a rack.
  5. Rapidly boil down the syrup until it is very thick.
  6. In another sauce pan add the blackberry jam and 1/4 cup the reduced amaretto syrup. Bring to a boil then simmer for a couple minutes until it is all well mixed.
  7. Paint the inside of the sugar crust with the jam and syrup mix/glaze.
  8. Spread the custard over the glaze.
  9. Cut the pears crosswise. Keep the cut pear together and lay on the custard fanning it out once you have it in the tart. Use my picture as a guide. Save one of the pears for the center (cut it so it forms half a sphere). Add the blackberries in the bare spots and around the center pear.
  10. Spoon the amaretto syrup/glaze over the top of the tart covering all the fruit.
  11. Serve as soon as possible to avoid crust getting soggy.

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