{TWD} French Pear Tartlets

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Bonne année!

Lately, it seems, I can’t get away from French related things. I was in French Polynesia for two weeks, I recently made a French Yule Log, my new favorite wine is French, and now we have the French Pear Tart (or in my case French Pear Tartlets). Actually, now that I think about it, my last name is French.😛

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This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie was picked by Dorie Greenspan herself! Dorie is the baker and author of Baking…From My Home to Yours, the book we are all baking our way through weekly.

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For our first TWD recipe of the new year, Dorie selected the French Pear Tart. In the recipe preamble, Dorie discusses how she was surprised to learn that the French use canned pears to make this tart. She states that the tart tastes great with canned pears, but to take it to the next level you can poach your own pears.

Naked pears, waiting to be poached.

Naked pears, waiting to be poached.

I decided to poach my pears. Poach my pears. I like the way that sounds. I’m going to make that my new saying for 2009. Anyway, I split and scraped a whole vanilla bean into the poaching liquid to infuse the pears with vanilla flavoring.

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I used whole-wheat pastry flour and almond meal to make the crust.  Instead of one big tart, I decided to make four tartlets. It’s easier to share this way.

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After partially baking the crusts and letting them cool, I spread the almond cream in an even layer and on top of the cream I sprinkled minced candied ginger for that extra zing.

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Then came the tricky part for me–fanning the cut pears. Although they came out alright, this is the area I need more practice. I don’t have a good pear-fanning technique. I also, probably, over-filled my tarts with pears.

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Aesthetics aside, this tart was outstanding. The flavoring combination of almonds, pear, vanilla, and ginger was perfect.I cut the tartlets in quarters and took them to work. imgp3114

This recipe is great because you can do bits and pieces of it over the course of a few days. I poached the pears and made the crust on one day, made the almond cream on another day, and assembled/baked it on a third day.

For the recipe (and to see how a real pro does it), please visit Dorie’s website.

Perfect bite-size!

Perfect bite-size!

62 thoughts on “{TWD} French Pear Tartlets

  1. Well, poach my pear, I’d say you have some pretty snazzy pear fanning talents. Your tarts are so pretty, and I love that you used whole wheat pastry flour for the crusts. Will totally keep that one in mind. Way to go the extra mile and poach the pears.
    Nancy

  2. It’s hard to get medium but firm fresh pears here now. So I was glad there was the tin option.

    Your tartlets look stunning! Very nicely fanned pears.

  3. I LOVE the way your pears are fanned. When you give up saying “poach my pear,” you can start saying “fan my pear” and say it with authority.

    Candied ginger — what a great addition.

    So glad you liked the recipe.

  4. Bonjour! I love your new saying…and your tartlets. I think that’s a great way to present these. Your pear fanning is formidable, as they say (apparently) in France.

  5. Ooohh vanilla beans! I am totally gonna have to do that next time. Any reason to use my vanilla beans. I love those little specks. Your tartlets are adorable. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

  6. I love the way your pear arrangement turned out. I have to try again! I thought this recipe was super yummy and I will make it again. I need to buy another tart pan.

  7. Very, very nice job Pinkstripes! I see you also went all out and poached the pears! …I say, just a little more love in the dessert! LOL LOL
    Wonderful!

  8. I am totally stealing that saying – poach my pears! My other favorite is “that just frosts my cookies!”

    I think the aesthetics of your tart are perfect – it certainly looks better than mine!

  9. Yum and beautiful. I love the way you fanned out your pears! I kind of think it’s fun that we didn’t really know what Dorie meant, and everyone did something different.

  10. “Poach my pears!” – yes indeedy, that’s a phrase to keep. I love the ginger addition – I am always adding ginger to things myself, I almost used ginger preserves to glaze my pear tart but got lazy at the end. Great photos and your tarts look fantastic.

  11. Gorgeous! I love your additions–I’ll add the vanilla bean next time (what fun it was to poach pears). I’m in a francophile mood too–I also made the Yule Log cake, and just found out that I’ll be teaching a brief class in Paris in Spring…of 2010. Sigh. That’s a long time to wait:)

  12. Your whole wheat pastry flour and nut crust sounds like a lovely counterpoint to the delicate pastry cream and pears. Vanilla beans just make everything that much better don’t they?

  13. I used the whole wheat pastry flour, too and thought it worked perfectly. I, personally, love the look of all of those pears. Immensely appealing!

  14. Oooh, those look divine! I love the really thinly sliced pears and how you arranged them–I’d say you did it perfectly. I also think ginger sounds amazing in this tart. Guess I’ll have to make it again to try that version–tragic!

  15. I think your fanning technique is perfectly alright, the tartlets look pretty. It must be yummy to have candied ginger in the almond cream.🙂

  16. Pinkstripes, dorie came to visit! Yippee What fun?!
    Your fanning talents are far superior than you imply. No worries, they are beautiful tarts and I agree I like the step up in flavor by complimenting the pear with ginger and vanilla bean. I thought the tart was a nice light dessert to compliment a meal that might possibly be a little on the substantial side. Great post-I enjoyed reading.
    AmyRuth

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