06 January 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: French Pear Tart

I finally have my camera up and going on a Tuesday and today is a special Tuesdays with Dorie as Ms. Greenspan has chosen the recipe of the day: French Pear Tart on page 368 of
Baking: From my home to yours. Here she also displays and discusses her rendition of her recipe. She has also taken the time to answer some of our many questions in a gracious interview.

My take is definitely not as lovely. I don't own a tart pan in this country and every week I continue to regret leaving my food processor in the US (I really think that I will purchase one before our next recipe!). On the other hand, this recipe worked for me. It cooked up well and tasted wonderful. As you can see above, I finally found ground almonds. That saved me mixing them up in my coffee mill again. Then you see my mise en scene, a mix of weight and volume measurements (I have translations taped to my wall as well).

The next picture is of the long suffering husband, as he kindly assists me in the grating of the frozen butter. I did that to facilitate the making of the "tart" crust, Dorie's Sweet Tart Dough from page 444. She wasn't kidding when she said that one should press that dough into a pan. Since I didn't have a tart pan, I wound up using a pie pan. As you can see below, that resulted in a bit of crisping at the edges, but I'm fine with that.

Continuing the saga, after making the crust, I needed to freeze before baking. Since I have a European (or perhaps a German) freezer, that means that it is the size of a breadbox. I put the pan outside on the patio, as it is currently below freezing in Berlin. Then I pre-baked the crust for 15 minutes, as I found the directions a bit unclear as to the required duration for pre-baking. I cooled the crust on the balcony again.

While the crust was cooling, I put together the almond cream. I found it was too stiff (perhaps a result of small German bio eggs? or that I used the vanilla rather than the rum?)so I added two tablespoons of water and remixed and it looked good.

My pears are a bit funny, but I think I got the hang of it after the first try and luckily the expansion of the cream while baking just makes it look great. I think it over-browned a bit and next time I might try putting tinfoil on for the last ten minutes or perhaps it would be better in a tart pan with its deep edges. However, this was a great relief after the failure of the pudding- it tastes great and set well.


TeaLady said...

Just call it a rustic German pear tart. Looks great to me.

honeypiehorse said...

I CAN NOT believe you actually made this from scratch. You could sell these. If you were in Munich I'd be knocking at your door.

chocolatechic said...

I always grate my frozen butter when I make pie crust or biscuits.

It looks fabulous.

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

You did a beautiful job!

Piggy said...

heehee.. great idea to use the "outdoor freezer" to freeze the tart shell. ;-)

your pear tart turned out great though, good job!

Jules Someone said...

I'm glad it worked out for you. Nice to have nature on your side. ;-)