Tarte de Pera
Inspired by a bag of organically grown pears from the garden of a family friend, I made Portuguese Tarte de Pera, a recipe from Pimentos & Piri Piri. The pears, port and cinnamon make for a decadent and tender dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Anjou pears are my favorite for cooking. Bartlett, Bosc, and Concorde are equally good for pies and readily available in the fall. Apples can also be used instead of pears.
Pear Cream Tart
- 3 1/4 cups (810 mL) all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) fine salt
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) port
CREAMY PEAR FILLING
- 4 or 5 Anjou pears
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
- 2 tsp (10 mL) + 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnnamon
- 1 cup (250 mL) 18% cream
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) port
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) sifted icing sugar
- TO MAKE THE TART SHELL Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Gradually add the butter, 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) at a time, mixing with a fork until well distributed and the mixture is crumbly. Add the egg, mixing well. Gradually add the port, a spoonful at a time, mixing lightly with a fork until the dough forms a ball. (Alternatively, in a food processor mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and process until the mixture becomes crumbly. With the food processor running, through the feed tube, add the egg, followed by the port one spoonful at a time until the mixture forms a ball.)
- Wrap the dough in waxed paper and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until cold. This will allow the pastry to rest and make it easier to work with the dough. (Recipe can be prepared ahead to this point, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
- On a floured surface, roll half of the dough into a 10-inch (25 cm) circle (wrap the remaining half and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months for later use). Transfer to a 9-inch (23 cm) pie pan, flute edges, and place in fridge until ready to use.
- TO MAKE THE CREAMY PEAR FILLING Peel and core the pears; cut into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice so they will not turn brown. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and arrange the pear slices decoratively in a circular design on the bottom of the crust; sprinkle each layer with a little sugar (you may need up to 2 tp/10 mL of sugar). In a bowl, beat the eggs, ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar, cream, and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of port.
- TO ASSEMBLE Pour the cream mixture over the pears in the pie plate. Bake in a preheated 425F (220C) oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F (175C) and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes or until the filling in the centre is golden and set. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.