This week, on a very special Tuesdays with Dorie...a recipe chosen by Dorie Greenspan herself. Yes, the author of Baking: From My Home to Yours (and other indispensable baking books), selected the French Pear Tart for our weekly baking challenge. It's also the one-year anniversary of Tuesdays with Dorie (cue noisemakers and confetti).
Now, there was no way I could skip this one. I had a feeling - just a hunch, mind you - that Dorie would steer us towards something simple, elegant, and foolproof. I am not being sycophantic in the least when I say this recipe was all three, and delicious to boot. I'm going to file this one under "desserts I can make that appear very impressive and complicated, but are really quite easy." I don't think I'll be giving Dagmar's Desserts (my favorite local baker) any competition with my pear-fanning technique, but I'm very happy to have this tart in my repertoire. In fact, I'm already scheming about when I can make it next.
I was tempted to replace the almond cream with pastry cream to placate my nut-shy in-laws, but I'm so glad I didn't. (Sorry, Curt and Ellen - you can try next week's recipe). The most complicated part of the recipe was fanning the canned pears (and as you can see from the photo, things got a little iffy towards the center). I prebaked the tart crust in an 8" tart pan, so it was a bit thicker than it should have been. After 45 minutes, the assembled tart was nicely browned and puffed. When we cut into the slightly warm tart, the interior was a bit runnier than expected, but I attribute that to my less-than-optimal pear blotting.
My only question: Why aren't jars of almond cream widely available on our supermarket shelves? I'd spread it on everything in sight if given a chance. On second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea.
Thank you so much, Dorie, for introducing me to this lovely tart - and to so many other fantastic recipes. And, indirectly, to the community of home bakers that is Tuesdays with Dorie.
Next week: Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake chose Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins (page 6).
Last week: Tall and Creamy Cheesecake