Today was my last training of the year. Hooray! I don’t have to travel any more for work. It’s time to celebrate.
And what better way to celebrate than with pie? Or, to be more precise, with a browned butter pear tart? I made this last weekend and it turned out amazingly good. It was delicious warm; it was delicious cold. It may have been even better along with some gewurztraminer or other spicy white wine, or even some champagne. But we just ate it as it was, and Dan said it was one of the best baked goods I’d ever made. And that’s saying something.
MLE’s browned butter pear tart
Filling: 2 large ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (Comice worked VERY well)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp white sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
enough ice water to make dough stick together
1/2 cup finely chopped or sliced almonds for topping
Prepare pears, gently toss with ginger/sugar and set aside. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. When butter has started to brown, continue to stir until butter is the color of brown sugar. Remove from heat and refrigerate until butter is solid again. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients using pastry blender. Once butter is completely solid, cut into flour etc. until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. It will smell hella good. (Can you tell I’m from N. California?) Add ice water a few drizzles at a time and toss with a fork until the dough holds together OK. Transfer dough to a floured surface and gently press it out into a flattened circle with your hand, then roll it out enough to make approximately 10 inch circle. If you roll it out on waxed paper (like I do), you can lift it up and turn it over onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Pile pears in the center of the crust, then fold edges over so they overlap the pears an inch or so. Top with almonds. Bake for 30 minutes or until filling is soft and bubbly. Let it sit for a little while before you cut into it.