Skip to main content

...poached pear and brown butter tart...

The name seems to say it all, no?  I made this for easter, and then again for a party last week.  I think it stands up well and looks pretty and to me is something you could buy in a bakery for $4 a slice, or something like that.

It's a bit time intensive, but I think it pays off.  Recipe thanks to Food and Wine.


  1. Cooking spray
  2. 13/4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  6. 1 large egg yolk mixed with 4 tablespoons of ice water

For the Pears
  1. 6 cups water
  2. 2 cups semidry white wine, such as Riesling
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 1 sage leaf
  5. 4 whole cloves
  6. One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  7. 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  8. 4 Bosc pears—peeled, quartered and cored

  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (or vanilla bean paste)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


  1. {Make the Crust} preheat the oven to 375°. Spray an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with vegetable oil spray. In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar and salt and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until comes together a bit. Lift the lid and sprinkle with the egg- yolk mixture. Pulse 5 or 6 times, until the dough is crumbly and comes together even more.
  2. Pour the dough into the prepared tart pan and press to form an even crust. Use a flat-bottomed glass dipped in flour to tamp it down. Bake the crust in the lower third of the oven for about 25 minutes, until it is golden brown. Lower the oven temperature to 350°.
  3. {Poach the Pears} In a large saucepan, combine the water with the wine, sugar, sage, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla bean and seeds or paste and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the quartered pears. Cover with a large sheet of parchment paper and a lid slightly smaller than the saucepan and cook over moderate heat until the pears are just softened, 25 to 30 minutes.  If you don't have parchment, that's ok, although it does help them steam well. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the poached pears to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool slightly. Cut each wedge in half lengthwise.
  4. {Make the filling} In a small skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat until golden brown and fragrant, about 4 minutes; pour browned butter into a small cup. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar, vanilla seeds, orange zest and salt. Add the flour and beat at low speed until smooth. Add the brown butter and beat the filling at low speed until incorporated.
  5. Pour the filling into the baked crust. Arrange all but 3 of the pear wedges on the custard in a slightly overlapping circle, with the narrow ends pointing toward the center. Trim the remaining 3 pear wedges and arrange them neatly in the center. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until the custard is golden and set. Let the pear tart cool completely before serving.

You may end up not using all of the pears- that's ok.  I've made this a few times and had leftovers.  If and when you do, just save them and eat them up alone or with some cottage cheese.

Enjoy and don't be shy to impress your friends with this dish!  I think you can make it even 2 days before serving- it stands up really well!


Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: New Mom (Anytime) Gift Guide

Today's Guest Post is from Michelle Perez of Simply Complicated.  I met Michelle in college and since then she has gotten hitched, had a baby, and lives in Guatemala where her family are doing some great work.  Read more on her blog and until then, check out her gift guide for new moms!  Thanks, Michelle!

I am a new mom to and am still very much in the ups and downs of learning how to how to take care of a very small human and myself. Even though I think all new moms would be happy with a nap, a long shower and a meal on their doorstep I have put together a gift guide that stretches a bit beyond the basic. You could say this is just in time for the holidays, but the truth is, this is an anytime of year gift guide. Enjoy.

1. Sugar & Spice Kitchen Towels We all know new moms like and appreciate home cooked meals. But I was surprised as a nursing mom, how hungry I was all. the. time. Friends of mine were so sweet, because they brought over a meal AND muffins or bread or baked goods …

quesadilla pie

This is a dinner I've been thinking about and trying to figure out when I'll make it next.  It'll probably happen sometime this weekend because it was simple and oh-so-satisfying.  It was a perfect new-mom meal. New-Mom as in I had time to make it, and I'd like to bring it to new mom's too.

I'm tempted to even make a few and stock my freezer with them for when we're hungry or when I need to bring someone a meal, a task I think I'm finally now up for seeing as I've been able to figure out our schedule more and get back in the kitchen.

Apart from pulling apart the chicken this dish comes together really quickly.  The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapenos, an item I thought we had in our fridge but it turns out what I thought were pickled jalapenos were actually molding olives.  Not so great.  Next time I'll add in the jalapenos but they're definitely optional.

So this weekend, you should make this.  Dare I say my mouth i…

canned tomato sauce with basil and garlic

When I think about canning I want to make things that I'll use year round.  I want staples that I can go to that'll make pasta sauce, chili and stuffed peppers that much more delicious.  I want to make a recipe that tastes amazing in large part because the tomatoes used in it were fresh in the summer then preserved.
Although I did can some tomatoes last summer I ended up not using them as often as I thought I would.  I still found myself going to the store for diced tomatoes here and there when I should have been in the mindset to use my canned tomatoes and just crush them into the recipe.  Canning fail.

So, this year I decided to make some sauce.  It was an all day affair, let me tell you, but worth it in the end.  I looked to the Ball website for canning recipes and used their recipe for tomato sauce with basil and garlic.  You can see the original recipe here.  
I did tweak it some.  I didn't strain the sauce but rather pureed it in the Vitamix which really did away wi…