Tuesday, January 6, 2009

TWD, French Pear Tart (aka: I can't believe I made something so delicious!!)

Well it's a big week here in Tuesdays with Dorie, as this week our recipe was chosen by the baker extraordinairre, la grande dame herself, Dorie Greenspan! Her choice was her French Pear Tart. It's a big week in this household as well, more on that later! First, let's talk tart:

Now with all the blogs in the roll, not sure that she'll find her way through to my little world, yet even still, just the thought of making a recipe this week that was chosen by Dorie herself sort of made me feel like she was coming over to the house to share it--like I was making it FOR her...I was really looking forward to tackling the tart and kept my fingers crossed the whole time that I would have a decent photo for this week!

I am jumping to the end because I am giddy over the outcome--I swear, I have never baked anything that tasted as good as this tart. That almond cream and the tart crust combo...it's superb...it's sublime...it's perfect! I can't believe I made this! I really was proud, I have to say!

Now, backing up a bit--It was a fun recipe to make, and I did so on Sunday late afternoon...I liked the back and forth and pauses in between--made for an easy time actually. While the shell baked, I put together the almond cream. While the shell cooled, I made Dear Husband and I dinner...and while we ate dinner, meanwhile the shell, the cream and the pears were turning themselves into one big meld of yummy goodness in the oven!

The only substitutions I made were a 9.5" pie plate in lieu of a tart pan, and the stand mixer in lieu of food processor for the pastry dough. (I had dough issues with the food processor and dough making during rugelach week--it's just not quite big enough I think is the issue). I may have overworked it a bit as I would not call the texture 'granular' when it came out of the bowl and putting it into the pie plate...but the end result was tasty once put together with the other elements. I loved how the almond cream puffed up a bit and just hugged the pears....I'm sorry, I know I sound like a broken record (or 'skipping CD' for the younger crowd), but truly this is a bit of heaven on earth.

The pears were a slight issue--only because my canned pears were quartered, not halved...so it made for smaller pieces. I tried to arrange them best I could in the spoke-type formation, and I think next time I would put more on top, maybe in a different pattern so every bite is sure to get a good ratio of pear to the almond cream (have I mentioned the almond cream? Someone, please pass me the almond cream...)

Dear Husband was quite thankful for the tart this week after having to sit out my very first cheesecake last week, and so I was thrilled that he loved this as much as I do. Honestly, I can't see anyone 'not' liking this.

Dorie, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your book, your ability to make things seem so easy and un-intimidating to try and for this tart! I can already see myself impressing people with this next time we have friends over! As I type this up Monday evening, we have just enjoyed Day 2 of your formidable French Pear Tart! Vive la almond cream!!

(a.k.a Lisa is a Baker--with a Bun in the Oven!)
I am happy, thrilled, scared a bit, and just overall excited to report, that God willing, come July 15th (or thereabouts) Dear Husband and I will be parents!!! I'm 13 weeks along, and New Year's Eve we had a 12 week ultrasound and marveled at the little one growing in me (I guess one plus about being over 35 and labeled "high risk" are the extra ultrasounds I receive!) So our holidays were extra special this year as we had fun spreading the happy news, were so overwhelmed with everyone's excitement for us, and an already merry time of year was extra-merry. And so far, knock wood, I've not been nauseous--just super tired! (thus the reason for the post when I was MIA a month or so back! I was dead on my feet and had no energy!)