OK, this is my first Tuesdays With Dorie post. This was a great week to start, not only because it is a new year, but because this week's recipe was selected by Dorie Greenspan herself! The recipe is for a French Pear Tart and can be found on her blog.
All the other bakers are saying how easy this recipe is. Mmmm, I guess it would be easy the second time around, now that I have more of a clue what I am doing. I had never made a tart so I ran into a few little bumps in the road. (My only tart pan is glass; can it go from freezer to oven without breaking? Yes it can, or at least this time it did.) Overall, the final result was DELICIOUS.
The first step was making almond cream out of ground blanched almonds. Again, this was a new concept for me. I had some almonds, so I figured I would just blanch them. The instructions I had warned against oversoaking the almonds and making them too soft. So I was careful to soak them only for a minute and then started peeling. It took forever and I kept hurting my fingers. After a long time, the skins did start to slide off easier and I realized this was what they were supposed to be like from the start. Next time I'll know.
One nice thing about this recipe is it allows you to choose between fresh pears, poached pears, or canned pears, saying that canned pears work splendidly. That is good to know, but I so happened to have some fresh pears that needed used (or thrown away.) Usually pears would not get to this sorry state in my house, but with Big E's fruit sale, and with me accidentally ordering an extra box of fruit, I have been overwhelmed with fruit and these little guys were teetering on the brink of rotten.
I didn't want to poach them and have them get any softer. After peeling, coring, culling a few spots, and dousing with lemon juice, they looked quite appealing.
Here is the assembled tart before it got baked:
Ooops, I forgot to dry off the pears before putting them on the almond cream. Maybe that is why it didn't brown very well and I had to put foil on the edges and cook it a little extra. When it was finally done, I sprinkled on a little lemon zest (from the lemon I needed the juice from earlier) and a lot of powdered sugar. I didn't mean to do that much and tried to blow some off so the picture would look prettier, but that didn't work very well. The tart tasted wonderful though. I think I could have just an almond cream tart. I can't wait to try this with other fruit too.