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Pear-Ginger Custard Tart

Source: Food & Wine
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Active Time:  25 Minutes
Total Time:  3 Hours 30 Minutes
  Makes two 9-inch tarts
A tender cookie-like crust, pears that still keep their shape and sweet bits of crystallized ginger create a wealth of textures and flavors in this tart.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
For Pastry:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup pastry flour
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup blanched almonds (1 1/4 ounces), finely ground
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
For Filling:
4 pears, preferably Bartlett or Comice
1 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons blanched almonds, finely ground
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (about 2 ounces)
DIRECTIONS
TO MAKE THE PASTRY: In an electric mixer, beat the butter at moderate speed until softened. Add the 1/3 cup flour, the confectioners' sugar, ground almonds, egg, vanilla and salt. Beat until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and beat on low speed just until incorporated; do not overmix. Divide the dough in half; flatten each half into a disk, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.


Line 2 baking sheets without sides with parchment paper; dust very lightly with flour. Place 1 pastry disk on a prepared baking sheet; the dough will be sticky. Working quickly and using as little extra flour as possible, roll it out to an 11-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Repeat with the other pastry disk. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.


Flip 1 round of dough into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Peel off the parchment paper. Fit the dough into the pan, gently pressing into the bottom and against the sides of the pan. Prick the tart shell all over with a fork. Repeat with the other round of dough. Freeze the tart shells for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 week. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the tart shells for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.


TO MAKE THE FILLING: Using a small sharp knife, peel, quarter and core the pears. Slice them lengthwise 1/4 inch thick. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream with the eggs, granulated sugar and ground almonds. For each tart, arrange the pear slices in concentric circles, sprinkle the ginger over the pears and carefully pour the custard filling over the fruit.


TO SERVE: Bake the tarts for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the custard is firm and the crusts are browned. Transfer the tarts to a rack and let cool to room temperature before serving.


Serving size = 1/8 tart


Recipe courtesy of Fran Gage Patisserie.


Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
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 Custard-in-the-Middle Sweets
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes two 9-inch tarts
Calories: 282
Fat. Total: 17g
Fiber: 2g
Carbohydrates, Total: 31g
Sodium: 68mg
% Cal. from Fat: 54%
Cholesterol: 106mg
Protein: 5g
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