Pear, Mascarpone & Hazelnut Tart – GCC: Menu 22
We’ve all heard it before, “looks can be deceiving”, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, etc, etc.
Well…the same applies to the Pear, Mascarpone & Hazelnut Tart pictured above, that I made from this week’s Gutsy Cook’s Club menu choice. It may look more like a savory dish, but make no mistake, this baby is a treat that is all too sweet ;-).
Besides it not being too pur-dy, this tart was a process in the making, which didn’t go well with my schedule. I made a last-minute decision to bring this to a friend’s house for dessert and did NOT read all the steps (time) required. I literally had to chill the tart on the way to their home, LOL.
I know I
should could have cheated (made my life easier) and used the canned pears, as per the recipe and used a pre-made pie crust instead…but I was in the mood to have fun (get frustrated) and be challenged (tortured), learn a few things and demonstrate a little love for my husband and friends by baking the crust from scratch (it refused to play nice when I tried rolling it into a circle, but I won) and poaching (a first for me) my (Bosc) pears in a water, sugar and Frangelico mix.
Ahhh….the hazelnut liqueur fragrance in my home was sweetly…intoxicating.
I also used whole wheat pastry flour (which took about 5-8 minutes longer to bake) and sprinkled shaved bittersweet chocolate on top of the pears, hazelnuts and mascarpone filling before baking.
Then when I took it out of the oven, I added on some more bittersweet chocolate, melted in butter and sprinkled on some turbinado sugar.
Like I said before, this baby was all too sweet, without being over the top. Everyone thought it was really good, including the hostess who is not a big fan of fruit in her dessert (sound familiar Monica?). After all, how can you go wrong when you combine pears, mascarpone and hazelnuts together with chocolate, right?
Sam had two pieces and I (selfishly) split the remaining slice with the hostess (thanks Georgia!), so that I could have it today. It may have been time-consuming, but well worth the effort.
Ladies and Gentlemen…this concludes this week’s Edible Adventure.
Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not! ~Author Unknown
Pear, Mascarpone & Hazelnut Tart
Adapted by The Illustrated Kitchen Bible
For the pastry dough
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
- 3 tbsp sugar
- grated zest of ½ lemon
- 6 tbsp butter, chilled and diced
- 1 large egg, beaten
For the filling
- 2/3 cup mascarpone
- ½ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 3 tbsp whole milk, as needed
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 canned and drained pears, sliced
- 1/3 cup toasted, skinned, hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp apricot preserves, strained
- 9 in (23cm) tart pan with removable bottom
- Baking beans
1. For the pastry, pulse the flour, sugar, and zest in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the egg and pulse until the dough begins to clump together. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll out on a floured work surface into a round about 1/8 in (3mm) thick. Line a 9in (23cm) tart pan with a removable bottom, and trim the excess. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line the pan with a round of wax paper and fill with baking beans. Bake about 12 minutes until the pastry looks set and begins to brown. Remove the paper and beans and bake 10 more minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
3. Reduce the temperature to 325°F (170°C). Mix the mascarpone, sugar, egg and yolk, milk, and vanilla together until smooth and pour into the tart shell. Arrange the sliced pears in the filling, sprinkle with the hazelnuts, and then the sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is just set.
4. Cool on a wire rack. Brush with the preserves, slice, and serve.