Food The Bite:

Pear & Hazelnut Tart

Pear & Hazelnut Tart
Tart Time 

 

The very first “from scratch” dessert that I mastered was a proper French pear tart. Still a nervous cook, I was petrified at the idea of rolling out classic pastry dough, so, after much research, I found a recipe with a pressed-in crust—one that goes straight from mixing bowl to pan, where it’s smushed into shape with your fingers. Though I chose to make the tart  because it was easy, I was blown away by its flavors—and by the oohs and aaahs of my dinner party guests. This recipe is an adaption of that original dessert, modernized with an almond- and hazelnut-infused crust and a lavender honey and crème fraîche filling.

 

Recipe from Cook Beautiful 

Photography by Johnny Miller 

Pear and Hazelnut Tart

Athena Calderone, Cook Beautiful

Ingredients

Serves 6 to 8

For the crust

1 stick (4 ounces/115 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan

½ cup (100 g) sugar

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon pure almond extract

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1¼ cups (155 g) all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons hazelnut flour

For the filling

½ cup (120 ml) crème fraîche

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon pure almond extract

1 tablespoon Wondra flour or sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons hazelnut flour

2 ripe but firm Bosc pears, peeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced

Semi-sweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

⅓ cup (45 g) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped, for garnish

Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Method

Make the crust:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175˚C). Butter a 13.75 by 4 ½-inch (35 x 11-cm) rectangular fluted tart pan with a removable bottom; a 9-inch (23-cm) round tart pan with a removable bottom will also work.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, salt, and both extracts. Add flours and stir until well combined; you should end up with a soft, pliable dough. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan, creating a thin layer; make sure to press the dough firmly into the corners of the pan and seal up any cracks. Lightly prick the dough all over with a fork. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake until the crust has turned golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack and let it cool completely.

Make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the crème fraiche, egg, honey, and extracts. Add the flours and stir until they are fully incorporated. When the filling is smooth, pour it into the crust; arrange the pear slices on top of the filling. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is set and the fruit is tender. Transfer the tart to the wire rack and let it cool slightly before releasing from pan.

Just before you serve the tart, garnish it with chocolate shavings and the hazelnuts and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. You can serve it warm or at room temperature; it’s equally delicious either way.

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