This recipe comes from Jean Pierre Moullé; the executive chef of Chez Panisse, (a famous, small restaurant in Berkeley. Ca.) The full story can be found in my book, The Accidental Baker: a cake for every crisis.
Fragrant, juicy pears are fanned onto a buttery tart shell. Add a French custard, (Clafoutis), pour over the fruit in the tart before baking. Bosc or Bartlet, firm but ripe work perfectly for this recipe.Tart can be made ahead and held in the refrigerator for a day, just bring to room temperature for 1 hour before serving. Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of Honey ice cream.
Oven 400º 9″ tart pan with removable bottom.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp. cold water
- 1 drop of vanilla extract
- 4 firm but ripe pears
- 3 1/2 Tbsp. fragrant honey
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 oz. cornstarch
- 9 oz. half and half (cream)
- 1 1/2 oz. sliced almonds
- In a food processor, add flour, sugar, pinch of salt and butter cut in small pieces.
- Blend briefly, pulse on and off.
- Add egg yolk, water and vanilla.
- Blend only to crumbly stage.
- Wrap and chill 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Roll out pastry and line a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom.
- Chill tart again for 30 minutes.
- Place in lower 1/3 of oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until light brown.
- Peel pears, remove cores and any seeds.
- Cut each pear into eights.
- In a non stick pan, heat honey until foamy, then simmer pears briefly, drain well.
- Mix eggs and yolks with sugar and whisk until pale.
- Add cornstarch. Add half and half.
- Place pear slices in concentric circles on pre baked shell.
- Add 3/4 of custard mixture and bake for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour remaining liquid over fruit, add sliced almonds.
- Bake for 20 minutes until puffed and nicely browned.
- Let sit to room temperature, dust with confectioner’s sugar.
- Cut in wedges and serve with whipped cream or honey ice cream.