Saturday, January 9, 2010

Half pie, half cake -- ALL PEARS - Pear Tart

So as it turns out, when you buy fruit in bulk, you have a very tiny window of ripeness when you have to eat it. And these huge Bosc pears were no exception. So at their peak ripeness, I thought I'd turn four of them into a fine little pear tart. This pear tart was fast and easy - different than what you'd normally expect as a tart. This is more of a cake. Well, it's more pear slices, smothered in cake batter...that bakes up into a beautiful dessert. Sound good? With only five basic ingredients and a 'throw it all in the bowl and go' philosophy, it can only sound better.

-2 eggs
-1/4 cup milk
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-pinch of salt
-2 pounds of fresh Bosc or Anjou pears (4-6 pears depending on the size)

-butter for dotting the tart
-2 cinnamon sticks (or just some ground cinnamon)
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon allspice
*You could add clove or cinnamon as you see fit as well.

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
2. Beat the eggs and milk in a large bowl, and then add the sugar, and salt. Then add the flour and stir until the mixture resembles a cake batter.
3. Peel and core the pears and slice into thin slices.
4. Add the slices to the batter and toss until evenly coated. There should be nearly an equal ratio of pears to batter, if only a little more batter.
5. Pour this mixture into a greased and dusted 9 inch cake tin or glass dish.
6. Arrange a couple of cinnamon sticks and sprinkle some cinnamon on top and stick a few pats of butter on there too.
7. Throw in the oven on the rack in the upper third at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden brown.
8. After removing it from the oven, let it sit for 15 minutes. This will give time for all the juices to collect and gift it a chance to set.
9. Peel of those cinnamon sticks before serving and you're ready to go! This dish is best served either warm or room temperature.

This dessert is so delicious and so simple to make, especially after cinnamon rolls and boston cream pie - two daunting endeavors. With this recipe, everything gets thrown in a pan and baked with no fancy processes or skills to learn. So, not quite a challenge, but a simple way to use up that ripe fruit without letting it go to waste.
As for taste, it's sweet and tart, but not too much of either. It's almost like pie and almost like cake, but not too much of either. Imagine if pie filling were made with cake. And pears. And it was all warm and seasoned with cinnamon inside a light golden brown crust. That's this. And this is great.
Signing off sweetly,


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