Pear Tartlets — Tartelettes aux poires

For the longest time, I had a very strong dislike for pears. The riper they were and the more I disliked them. I generally eat most of everything, food even on the verge to be trash-elected I have to confess, but that is mainly because of my crazy horrible I-want-to-lose-it bad habit of not throwing anything. I have been caught a few times with stomachache (yes really!) and promised that it would not happen again. But we all know the saying. Habit learned in a week, lost in ..how many? (I guess I do not know the complete saying).

Then I obviously could not but admired the beautiful Charlotte aux Poires made by Keiko from Nordljus, perfection at its uttermost. So one thing leading to another, I got fully inspired and acknowledge that pears have grown on me. Merci to Keiko, to a recently discovered beautiful food blog with a great inspiring name, A Perfect Pear and also to Philip, the little hubbie. Yes P. loves pears and always complains that there are no pears at home, or that I do not buy or cook them. “Allez, t’as pas envie de me faire cette tarte là, avec des poires ?” (Would you make this tart, please, with pears?) J ‘ai pas envie (I don’t feel like it). Until yesterday. I discovered a cute recipe in one my French cooking magazines, which I now slightly adapted and adopted.

The recipe seems to require many steps but it is deceiving as it is pretty easy and does not require special pastry tricks and skills. I did it!

Tartelettes aux poires et crème aux amandes

(Pear Tartlet and Almond Cream) – 4 individual tarlets

For the dough:

  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 80 g butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp evaporated cane sugar
  • Water
  • Pinch of salt


For the pears and almond cream:

  • 4 pears (medium to small size and firm texture) ; I used Comice Pears
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 ml heavy cream
  • 280 g almond powder (called also sometimes almond flour, basically almonds crushed so that it looks like a very fluid powder)
  • 50 g sugar


For the syrup:

  • 150 g sugar
  • 2 star anises
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 500 ml water


For the coulis:

  • 4 tbsp marmalade
  • 4 tbsp (or more depending on how you prefer the consistency) syrup from pears

Steps:

  • Start with the syrup. Mix together the water and sugar, with the lemon zest and star anises. Bring to a boil.
  • Peel the pears and from the bottom, make a hole in order to be able to remove the inside seeds and harder parts of the pears. Leave the stems on. While doing one, squeeze some lemon juice on it so that it does not darken.
  • Place the pears in the hot syrup and cook for about 20 mns, until tender but not longer (you want to keep the pears firm). When done, remove them to cool off and reserve some of the syrup for the coulis.
  • To make the dough, place all the dough ingredients in a food processor ( or by hand), starting with mixing together the flour and butter, then adding the sugar and salt, the egg and the water. Add enough water for the dough to be elastic but not sticky. Place in a covered bowl in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Preheat your oven at 420 F (210 C).
  • To make the almond cream, mix together the almond powder and sugar, then add the cream and then the eggs.
  • Roll your dough in individual buttered molds (with a sufficiently high edge). I use ceramic molds.
  • Make little holes at the bottom with a fork.
  • Place one pear in the middle of each mold and pour the cream around.
  • Place in the oven for about 25 mns, until the crust has a nice golden color.
  • To make the coulis, take a pot and heat the marmalade with 4 tbsp of the reserved syrup.
  • Place a tart on each plate with the syrup around.
  • I had some leftover almond cream which I decided to use for another preparation.

    Then came the time of the verdict. Would I be pear approved?

    After P. started eating one bite of the tart, he looked up at me, with his mouth full. I was nervous. Suspense. Was I passing the pear tart test? His lips moved, I barely heard words coming out of this mouth, yet it seemed to sound like this : “Béa, hmmmm, I just have to tell you. Hmmmmm, from now on, this will become my favorite dessert”.

    Smile and relief.

    The Oh gran Pear Expert approved.

    Perspective

    Can it be qualified of the most exquisite dessert? Not reaching the beauty of Keiko’s charlotte for sure but because Philip likes pears a lot, winning my family contest was quite easy (no one competed against me! ah!). Besides, P. had been pear-deprived for so long that I had high chances to win his approval . And I have to say, I liked it a lot myself and am ready to do it again. Tested and approved. I can declare : “J’aime les poires!” (I like pears!)

    Posted in Dessert, Fruit, Tarts | 17 Comments

    17 comments

    1. Bea,
      Pears aren’t usually one of my favorite things either, but seeing the fruit combined with chocolate always makes me go mad! Anyway, I was catching up on a couple of your previous posts and I like the fact that we seem to be thinking on the same plane here. Not throw away food? I cannot agree any further, this is something that my father taught me and it bugs me a lot when food begins to mold and rot in the fridge.

      Also your answers to the 7 meme were fantastic! A couple of your answers are on my meme that I haven’t yet posted. Oh, and regarding your question on the artichokes… I have no idea if you could find those imported to the US. They should though, I hear they are really prized over here.

    2. Again, amazing picture! And I am also quite in the mood for pears this winter. This looks great!

    3. Les photos sont somptueuses, je suis très tentée par cette recette … Dois-je laisser mes commentaires en anglais ?

    4. Thank you all for your nice comments. I try to eat with my eyes first ;-) so….

      Rowena, yes hard to throw food, isn’t it? When food starts getting bad, I go in a cooking frenzy!!

      Flo, yes pears are quite tempting with winter around.

      Fabienne, les commentaires en francais, c’est parfait!

    5. Oh, wow! Your peach tartlet looks absolutely wonderful! I’m glad you made it! ;-)

      Paz

    6. can i lick my screen this looks amazing
      I hate ripe ripe pear.. but once a ripe pear is cooked I do not mind.

      anyway I made UPSIDE DOWN PEAR CAKE, it was great!

    7. Hi Sha,

      Where is your upside down pear cake recipe??? I want it!!

      Hi Ivonne,

      Thanks for your sweet note. You are funny! And in answer to your question, ahahah, I don’t know, I think I am quite obsessive about food, don’t you think? ;-) I saw your nice pizza btw, yum!

    8. go to my links at heavenly dessert
      I copied the recipe from the australian vogue
      or shall i email u?

    9. I don’t really care for Western pears but Nashi!
      Oiishi desu! Did Keiko use that?
      I love it just plain or juiced. [Not being a big fruit lover.] I have made poached fruit/pears before but – ah whatever- for our tastes. Waste of my culinary time! Aha!
      Does look very pretty though.

      Try the nashi. You will adore. Much nicer than our usual pears! IMHO. Check them out if you have not.

    10. Pingback: La tartine gourmande » Blog Archive » Velouté de fenouil aux épices sucrées - Fennel Velouté and its Sweet Spices

    11. ah, i am a bit late for the full effect of my intended bragging… bea had me over for dinner the Evening of The Pear Tartlets. they were perfect. not too sweet, and with distinct and complementary textures. the pear was soft but still pleasantly firm, the pastry was well balanced with the almond filling. something about it made us each eat slowly, as each bite required the creation of a pear (and pastry!) sculpture. very festive, but also homey. a true success.

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