Rustic Pear Tart
Let the pear parade continue! Having two bushels of homegrown pears in the basement inspires both gratitude and creativity… and even a little panic that you won’t get them all used up before they pass their prime. It would break my heart to throw any into the compost bin; they’re just too delicious for such a sad fate.
So, instead, I’ve been beefing up the pear recipe selection here on SFTF substantially. Today’s offering is a ridiculously (almost shameful , really) easy recipe for a straightforward and juicy Rustic Pear Tart. It’s not a terribly novel use for the pears, but it is a fast one that let me whip up a warm dessert to share with a neighbor who had just brewed a pot of coffee. It was perfection. And did I mention easy?
Now, of course, you can certainly make this recipe harder if you’d like. I used a store-bought pie dough. Gasp! Oh, yes, even I take shortcuts sometimes. And, honestly, this tart isn’t worth fussing over homemade dough. It’s meant to just be a vehicle for the warm and flavorful pears, the real stars of the show. That being said, had I had a ball of frozen leftover pie dough in the freezer at the time, I would have most certainly pulled it out and used that instead. But, as it was, I had the stuff from the store and it fit the bill precisely.
Next time you’re in a rush and need a simple solution for what to serve alongside a cup of coffee or tea when friends, neighbors and family are gathering together, I’d definitely recommend this one with a big thumbs up. And if you’d like to have this as a local food option even later into the year – say the December holidays – after pear season has left us once again, you could make the filling now and freeze it for later. Just let it thaw before proceeding with the tart.
Rustic Pear Tart
A Straight from the Farm Original
5-6 ripe pears
1/4 C. vanilla sugar*
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
1 T. plus 1 t. cornstarch
1/2 package of prepared or homemade piecrust
1 T. honey
1/4 t. boiling water
* Vanilla sugar is made by storing your vanilla beans in a canister of sugar. Not only does this keep the beans fresh, it also flavors the sugar and makes it a delicious addition to baked goods. If you don’t have vanilla sugar, just use regular granular sugar.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel and core pears. Cut into 1/4 inch thick slices and place in a medium mixing bowl. Toss pears with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Let sit for a few minutes while you prepare the crust.
Roll out piecrust to 9 inches wide. Use a rolling pin to help transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Give the filling in the bowl a stir again to make sure the juices are coating all the pieces. Use a large spoon to heap pears onto the center of the piecrust, leaving at least a 2 inch border around the outside. Hold the juices in reserve in the bowl for the time being.
Carefully fold up sides of crust around the heap of pears, pinching any seams that form to make sure they are sealed. The pears in the center will not be covered by crust. Pour reserved juices over the exposed pears, making sure it gets inside the crust.
Place tart in the hot oven to back for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and pears are tender. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Combine the honey and boiling water to create a glaze. Use a brush to apply to both the hot crust and pears. Allow tart to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. To transfer tart to a serving plate, it’s best to let it cool completely so crust holds together.