A Simple Bosc Pear Tart

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This tart was part of my thanksgiving dinner plan, in fact, this tart was the conclusion of the thanksgiving dinner, so it had to be good! and tons of planning went into it, but plans, usually mine, don’t always go as expected. I should have prepped the tart a couple of days in advance, thrown it in the freezer and then should have baked it at the right time just about on hour before dessert time. I only managed to get the short pie crust ready but I run out of time, everyone is hungry now, you can feel the stress rising, the looks….oh, the looks…  decision made, no tart for anyone! maybe next year.. maybe…anyways, the beautiful bosc pears I bought continued to ripen in a bowl over the fridge, slowly and beautifully as most ripening processes usually go.

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I’m actually glad I “waited” until after thanksgiving day. The pears became extremely juicy and sweet yet able to hold their shape. Got perfect pears now, got pie crust ready. There is no escape, a pear tart has to be made (a totally accidental rhyme,  do not judge). And here is how:

Pear topping:

2 ripe bosc pears
1/3 C sugar
50g unsalted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 lemon (just the juice)

Pie crust:

200g AP flour or cake flour
100g unsalted butter, 1 stick (in the US at least)
100g granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg beaten

For the pie crust please click here.  Start your oven at 390F, and preheat for about an hour.

For the pears. Slice them in half lengthwise. Core them. I use a spoon. The fiber that runs along the length of it could be removed if it’s too tough, up to you. If you’re feeling fancy, remove. Finely dice crosswise. About 1/8 of an inch. They need to be cut thinly because we want them to not only cook but also develop some color, and that can only happen if they release enough water (dry up) so the sugar concentration is adequate and the temperature hot enough so that caramelization can happen. Slice the fat part of the pear and eat the thinner part as you cut them, seriously, they’re so good, and this is worth doing, rather than having to deal with so much variation in the size of the slices which will be a pain in the ass when it comes to laying out the slices over the tart. Place the slices in a bowl with the juice of one lemon in it. Toss gently with your hands. Let stand for a few minutes. Interlace the slices over the pie crust, anyway you like. Dust cinnamon over the pears. Make sure that when you dust, you dust from a distance of at least one foot. This will give the cinnamon enough chance to disperse in the air and cover the pears more uniformly. This is a good tip for salting food too. Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Place sugar and butter in it. Melt and cook until a nice caramel forms, takes about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on it. Caramel goes from brown to black-hole-dark really fast. Remove from the stove, and drizzle over the pears in a fine stream. If you have too much caramel, don’t use it all. Drizzle the pears as you would a salad when using olive oil.  Place tart in the oven and bake for about one hour, or until it looks beautiful. That’s usually a better indicator than a timer. Timers can help destroy food. I like to trust the senses. When the house smells like a french pastry shop, I go take a look, it’s usually ready. I adjust oven temperature along the way as well. I don’t believe an oven is this magic box that will cook something perfectly just because time and temperature were set in advanced. Weather, humidity, altitude, the oven’s temperament and that of the ingredients will determine time and temperature instead. I had to bake this tart an extra 10 minutes at 230F just to get the tart a little more dehydrated, just seemed like it needed it. Oh, and notice I didn’t peel the pears, right?… no need. It gives the tart a more striking look in my opinion, and these pears’ skin melts in the mouth anyways. All good!

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Post-thanksgiving-simple-pear-tart accomplished. Now, moving on to the next thing. Still thinking about a seafood themed Christmas dinner, which is really exciting and very different from what I’m used to. Have you tried filleting a trout? totally random question.. but here’s the answer… HARD!!! Looks so easy on youtube. I will keep practicing I guess. It’s a delicious and relatively inexpensive fish perfect for training knife skills before butchering more expensive ones.  Ok, I’m spent. Until the next time! Be safe! eat well, travel more if possible! Cheers!

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  1. What an absolutely gorgeous tart. It’s too pretty to cut into!! But don’t let me fool you, I’d stand there and admire it for a few minutes before I jumped in and cut myself a lovely piece. You have inspired me to go shopping somewhere to find that pan, and make that tart this weekend. Who needs to do laundry when you have a tart to make, right?? <3 Thanks for this. It's just lovely.

    1. hahahah 🙂 Yay! I’m really glad you are dropping that laundry detergent and picking up a bag of pears instead!!! your compliment is super nice, thank you so much! if you don’t mind, let me know how your pear tart turns out please! I’d love to know 🙂

  2. Oh, what a perfect, elegant Fall dessert, Paul! I love anything with pear – and bosc pears, so crisp and honeyed, are my current favorite. I once had a similar dessert. It had some sort of amaretto creme between the pastry and the pear. I can’t wait to try this for a holiday celebration. Beautiful presentation in this dish. Love your photos! Best – Shanna

  3. Your tart pan is something! I have never seen such a perfectly baked tart. Your knife skills are fabulous as well as your placement of each slice. Now that I see how precise these slices are I know you are going to master the trout!

    1. thank you so much! really wonderful compliments. so glad you liked the tart! I really like this pan as well, it’s really pretty, and it was also cheap which is great! 🙂 I hope you’re right! the trout community hasnt been too happy about fellow trouts that end up on my chopping board!

  4. Your pear tart looks wonderful! With the added caramel, it’s almost like pear tatin (except there’s no flipping).
    Trout is one of the most difficult fishes to fillet, as it is more slippery (slimey) than other fishes.

    1. thanks Stefan! it is basically the same concept, but a lot easier to execute hahh 🙂 I have to agree with you, trout is incredibly difficult, and it’s mostly bones. Even with my super sharp boning knife, I felt I was hacking the poor trout instead of filleting it… I need a towel to handle the fish, it’s like you say, too slippery

    1. thank you Fae! it is simple to make, the pie crust could be the hard part of it, but then the rest is pretty straight forward. It is a pretty pan 🙂 it wasn’t expensive. And when I saw it, I couldn’t leave the store without it! hahahah

    1. Viveka! Haven’t heard from you in a little while! Thank you for your beautiful comment! Hey, a little practice helps. I was petty useless at anything cooking related until I started doing it more often, but I feel more confident and a little more confident with each day of practice 🙂

  5. That’s one great looking tart, Paul. The pears were caramelized perfectly. Good luck with that trout. It’s beyond my limited boning skills, that’s for sure.

  6. Beautiful — I can practically smell it. Yes — filleted a lot of trout for a supper club. They looked pretty mangled until someone who had been a fishmonger stepped in and showed me a few tricks. It’s all in the knife (should be thin and flexible — a proper fish knife) and the wrist – supple and flexible, again, responsive to the bones of the fish. The best thing is to buy a lot of trout and practice. Perhaps for your own supper club? I bet you’d attract a crowd!

    1. thank you Susan! I have a boning knife, with a flexible blade, I think the knife is good, where I have difficulty is following the fish bone structure, usually at the end, the poor trout is partially destroyed, and there’s a lot of flesh still on the bones. I’ll have to get my supper club started so I have a good excuse to buy a bunch of trouts! 🙂

    1. yeah, trouts are tricky to say the least, tomorrow, I think Im gonna get a couple more and practice some more. The tart, that did take a little extra work, but it wasn’t too tricky, just required a bit of slowing down, I tend to rush things sometimes, because I get anxious and want to see the finished dish, as I picture it in my head and then.. disaster.. slowing down, breathing, and trying to enjoy the process helps, we’re usually too hungry to slow down, but it does pay off 🙂

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