Monday, March 7, 2011

Tart From a Tart;)

Originally posted 1/04/11

Good morning guys….Happy Tuesday!  How is 2011 treating you so far?  Great?  Perfect, let’s celebrate with dessert.  Not so good?  Ok, let’s try and make it better with dessert;)  Dessert always makes me feel better.  And even if you can’t control your emotions with food like the cool kids…..let’s make some anyway;)
Today I am going to show you how to make a pear tart that looks super fancy, but is actually really easy.  To prove how fancy it is, I will be making it in vintage Yves Saint Laurent…..and wearing fake eyelashes.  I can’t take a picture for you though…I have to make the paparazzi bid for it.
I chose a tart for the simple fact that it is different then a pie.  Pie is so last year;)  Tarts are usually a little lighter ( at least that is what I tell myself) since they don’t have a top crust, and always prettier.  I, of course, used pre-made pie dough.  You know, the kind that comes in a nice plastic wrapped package by the pre-made cookie dough and biscuits in a can?  Totally acceptable to use this.  Same ingredients, same thing.  I placed it in a tart pan, made it fit, and got rid of the excess.  BTW-my tart pan has removable sides, which will make for a perfect presentation.
I pricked it all over with a fork to keep it from rising and puffing up too much.  I pre-baked it for 7 minutes on 450 degrees. 
While my tart shell baked, I got crackin’ on the filling.  Is that baby feet in a dirty-ish sleeper in the background?  Yes, yes it is.  I had a little helper while I made this.  It really is easy enough to make that I could still handle a CRAZY 3 year old, while I prepared it.  It’s called multi-tasking people.  And she got bored and went to harass the dogs a couple of minutes after I took this picture……
Anyway, I used pears, Gourmet Rooster Ginger Pear Spread, mascarpone cheese (softened), eggs and powdered sugar.  My pears are slightly under-ripe, which keeps them from turning to mush while they bake.
I beat together the softened mascarpone and powdered sugar to start.  I feel so much like Giada when I use mascarpone, but not nearly as skinny.  You can use cream cheese if you aren’t as fancy;)
Once the cheese and sugar is blended and smooth, I add the eggs and keep mixing for a couple of minutes.  It should be light and smooth, like my mixture above.
I peeled 2 pears, but one will probably be enough for this recipe.  I always peel and slice and extra, in case the first pear has bruises or otherwise imperfect parts.  Between the 2 pears, I ought to get enough pretty slices.  I soak the slices in a bit of lemon juice to keep them from browning.  I slice my pears pretty thin, FYI.
By now, the tart shell has cooled enough to get on with it….I pour Ginger Pear Spread into the shell and spread it around.  This “makes” the tart.  You could make the tart without it, but it really is the finishing touch that makes the tart special and different.
I pour the cheese filling on top of the spread and then layer the pears on top.  Some of the pears will get covered when the cheese filling poofs up during baking, no big deal.  I still make a pretty fan of pears, just to keep it pretty.
I bake this for almost an hour, or until the filling looks “set”.
When the tart comes out of the oven, I brush the top with a little bit more of Ginger Pear Spread that I have “loosened” in the microwave.  I heat it for about 20 seconds, just so it is more spreadable.
I let the tart cool on the counter for about 30 minutes, and then I put it in the fridge for a couple of hours.  You can serve it cold, or take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temp.  But don’t skip the fridge part….it needs to be in there!
Seriously, this is so good.  Like restaurant quality good.  And not like chain restaurant good, but like “has their own pastry chef good.”  Was that bragging?  Ok, I’ll stop;)
If you have a special occasion coming up, or just want to a make a really good dessert, this is it.  This is your tart!  I hope you try it!

Ginger Pear Tart
One pre-made pie crust (1/2 of a package containing 2)
¾ cup Gourmet Rooster Ginger Pear Spread
2 pears, slightly under-ripe
8 ounces Mascarpone Cheese
2 eggs
¾ cup powdered sugar
Lemon juice

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place pie crust in ungreased tart pan.  Press to fit and trim excess.  Prick crust all over with a fork.  Bake at 450 degrees for 7 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Lower oven temp to 325 degrees.

With a hand mixer, beat together mascarpone and powdered sugar until well blended.  Add in eggs and beat until light and smooth.
Peel pears and slice thinly.  Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Pour ½ cup Ginger Pear Spread into tart shell.  Spread evenly.  Pour cheese filling over and spread evenly.  Top with sliced pears.

Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes, or until cheese filling is set.  Brush remaining Ginger Pear Spread over the top.  Put tart in fridge to cool, for about 2 hours.

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