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Caramelized Pear and Pastry Cream Tart

Crisp and refreshing pears with a sweet vanilla cream and a light buttery crust make this the perfect conclusion to any meal. Pair with California Muscat/Moscato or late-harvest Riesling.

Ingredients
  • pie dough:
  • 2 cups (240g) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2g) salt
  • 6 ounces (180g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 ounces (60g) cold shortening, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) buttermilk (or heavy cream)
  • pastry cream:
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (22g) cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups (350ml) whole milk, scalded
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (10ml) vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter
  • caramelized pears:
  • 1 ounces (60g) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (23g) light brown sugar
  • 2 Bosc pears, cored and thinly sliced

Makes 1 10- inch tart



Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  • In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients.
  • Add the cold cubes of butter and shorting and cut in with a pastry knife or your fingers until a fine crumble is made.
  • Work in the buttermilk just until the dough holds together.
  • Form the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface until 1/2 inch (8mm) thick.
  • Carefully place the dough into a tart shell, form and trim off all excess.
  • Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill the tart shell with dried beans, or pie weights.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the shell is light golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, recycle foil, discard beans and allow shell to completely cool. Set aside.
  • In a mixer, cream the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the cornstarch and continue to mix on medium speed until fully incorporated.
  • Stir in the scalded milk in a slow, steady stream.
  • Pour the mixture into a saucepan, add the vanilla and simmer over medium heat, constantly stirring until the mixture has thickened to about the consistency of mayonnaise.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Strain into a clean bowl to remove any lumps.
  • Cover and let pastry cream cool to room temperature.
  • Pour the mixture into the tart shell and set aside.
  • In a medium sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar and pears.
  • Sauté pears for 6 minutes or until slightly softened, but not mushy.
  • Remove slices of pear from the heat and let cool.
  • Gently fan the slices atop the pastry cream, creating a flower pattern and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
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