Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TWD: Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tart

It's my week to choose the recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie! I hope everyone who baked along with me this week liked the results as much as we did! I picked this recipe for the pretty picture and the chance to make poached pears. After I got started though, I realized this was a pretty detailed recipe, so double props to those who stuck out the whole tart even after all that thanksgiving desert. (I was pretty excited about pistachio pastry cream though!)

Here is the recipe, found on page 370 of Baking, From my home to yours, by Dorie Greenspan


For the Pastry Cream:
2/3 c shelled pistachios
7 Tablespoons suga
1 1/3 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
3 Tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup sour cream, if you do not strain nuts from pastry cream

For the Poached Pears:
3 cups fruity red wine (shiraz, syrah, zinfandel)
zest of one orange, cut into long strips
zest on one lemon, cut into long strips
3/4 cup sugar
5 ripe but firm medium pears
small lemon wedge

For the Caramelized pistachios:
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 c shelled pistachios

For the Sauce (optional)
poaching syrup from pears
2 tablespoons honey

1 9 inch tart shell made with Sweet Tart Dough (or any pastry) fully baked

To Make the Pastry Cream:
Put the pistachios and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground, about one minute. Turn the nuts into a medium heavy bottom saucepan, add the milk, and bring to a boil.
While the milk is heating, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar, the yolks and the cornstarch in a bowl. WHen well blended, whisk in the vanilla and almond extracts. Whisking constantly, drizzle in one quarter of the hot milk to temper, or warm the yolks so they don't cook. Add the remaining milk in a steady stream. Pour mixture back into the saucepan, put the pan on medium heat, and, whisking energetically, bring to a boil. Boil, whisking, for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat.
You can scrape the pastry cream int a clean bowl, in which case it won't be smooth, or if you want smooth cream, press the cream through a strainer, leaving the nuts behind; I usually leave the nuts in. Peice by Piee, stir the butter into the pastry cream.
Scrape the cream into a container, pres apiece of plastic wrap directly against the cream's surface, cover and refrigerate for at lest 4 hours, up to 4 days.

To Poach the Pears:
Put the wine, citrus zests and sugar into a large narrow pot, one that will hold the pears snugly, and bring to a boil.
Peel the pears and immediately rub them with lemon to keep them from darkening. Reduce the heat under the pot so that the wine simmers gently and lower the pears into the pot. Cut a circle of parchment or wax paper to fit inside the pot and press the paper against the tops of the pears, Partially cover the pot and simmer, turning the pears if needed so they are evenly colored by the poaching liquid, for about 30 minuted or until tender. test the pears by poking them with the point of a paring knife. Remove pan from the heat.
Transfer the pears to a heat proof bowl and pour over the poaching syrup; cool to room temperature. These can be covered and kept in the refrigerator of up to 3 days.

To Caramelize the Pistachios:
Place a piece of parchment or a silicone mat on the counter near your stove. Put the sugar and water in a small non stick skillet or saucepan over medium high heat and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until the sugar has reached an amber colored caramel. Add the nuts and stir without p until the sugar becomes a dark caramel color and coats the nuts. Turn the nuts onto the parchment or baking mat and spread as best you can.
When the nuts are cool, chop them coarsely. Keep in a cool dry place till needed.

To Make the Optional Sauce
30 minuted before assembling the tart, remove pears from the poaching syrup. Put the syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the hone and boil until the syrup is thick enough to coat a metal spoon. Pour into a container and chill until needed.

To Assemble the Tart
Cut the pears lengthwise in half, scoop out the cores and trim the stems and center veins as needed. Place pears cut side down on a triple thickness of paper towels. Cover with another triple thickness of paper towels and pat dry. Leave them between the paper towels until the excess liquid is absorbed, changing paper towels if needed. When the pears are dry, cut each pear lengthwise into 4 to 6 slices.
If you did not strain the nuts from the pastry cream, mix in 1/4 cup of sour cream to thin it a little. Spread the pastry cream in the baked tart shell (you may have some left over). Top the pastry cream with the pear slices, arranging in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Scatter the caramelized pistachios over the tart and serve with wine sauce, if desired. The tart can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.


Amanda said...

I reallllllly wanted to make this :( I had to pass this week, posted Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies instead that I made a few weeks ago. The holiday put me way behind, just never had time! ;-/ Sorry!

Yours looks really beautiful and I have been reading how yummy the pastry cream was, so I will definitely be doing it in the future!

Romaine said...

You did it up beautifully. Very impressed. What a project!

dorie said...

Lauren, your tart is as beautiful as the one in the book. I was wondering when this recipe would turn up in the TWD rotation and, even though it came after Thanksgiving, I think it's a perfect time for it. I've always thought of it as a holiday sweet.

Mary Ann said...

I only made a small version of the tart, but it was delicious. Great pick. I have been hoping that someone would choose this tart for a really long time.

Lauryn said...

Great pick!! I had a lot of fun making this and I was soooo happy with the result! YUM!!! Loved it!!!

jillbert said...

Thank you for the great pick! Your tart looks perfect! I spotted this in the book not long ago and thought it looked great. It was a lot of work, but it was delicious!

natalia said...

Ciao !!! Thanks for hosting this week it was a great choice !
You made a great looking tart !

Lillian said...

Your tart is lovely. Even though this wasn't one of our favorite recipes, I'm glad I persevered and got it done!

Flourchild said...

I so wanted to make this too but I was so tired from all the TG baking I did. Sorry I could not bake with you this week. Your tart looks amazingly good and what a good choice, I love pears!

Mimi said...

Your tart looks lovely, great pick. The colors and flavors were wonderful.

Karen said...

That is one scrumptious looking tart! I so want to make this recipe but haven't had the chance yet. It looks like yours turned out absolutley amazing!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

yours is sooo pretty! thanks for a really delicious pick!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks for choosing this Lauren. I wouldn't have made it alone, but I am glad I have now - it is fabulous.

Susan said...

Your photo of the tart is absolutely gorgeous! I am sorry I didn't make it. Didn't have the ingredients or the extra money to buy them. I made the blueberry pie instead.

Judy said...

Delicious choice! I was able to share it with friends and everyone enjoyed it

Nancy/n.o.e said...

What a fabulous job you did with your tart! Thanks for choosing this recipe - I played around with it a little bit, and we loved the finished tart.

Jaime said...

beautiful tart! I'm sorry i did not get to bake along w/you this week...my newborn is keeping me busy and I haven't quite gotten back into the groove of things yet.

SUGAR B said...

Lauren! I know, I know, I didn't bake along with you this week and I feel so bad, but Monday Night Football was on and I couldn't make it on time. Bummer.

Your tart looks SUPER DUPER awesome though, so I will live vicariously through you this week.

You make us proud! xoxo

margot said...

Thanks for hosting this week, your tart looks amazing. I've always admired this photo in the book too.

Heather said...

Looks really very beautiful, with just the right tinge of pink and so attractively arranged.

spike. said...

Sorry I missed it, the results look just beautiful. 'tis the season for me to be a slacker:(

TeaLady said...

This was a great pick, and not really THAT hard. The custard was great and even tho my pears (poached in honey) were mild it all came together.

Yours is stunning.

Wonder Woman said...

Wow. This looks amazing.

Amber Marie said...

Looks delish! And so pretty. I'll have to rewind to this one sometime, it looks too good to miss!

Shandy said...

Thank you for chosing this recipe. I learned a lot and loved the result. Yours is just beautiful!

Katrina said...

I was about to tell you that your tart looks perfect and as good as the one in the book, then I was browsing your comments and Dorie herself said the same thing! That is awesome! I had to go with a much lighter version of this because of all the T-day goodies, but yum, yum!

alvarosa (of cookie rookie) said...

I'm a bit late to comment, but thanks for picking this wonderful tarte! It wasn't only delicious, but also a pleasure to look at!

alvarosa said...

I'm a bit late to comment, but thanks for choosing this tart! It wasn't only delicious but also wonderful to look at!!

Sara said...

Ooooh, looks delish! I will have to try this one out! :)

Sweet and Savory said...

This is a wonderful choice. Good job.

Unfortunately, I did not get to make it but I hope to, in the future. If I could get one to look like yours, I would be a happy camper.

joseph said...


This looks beautiful and the ingredients are great. I may try and make it for Christmas dinner. We are hosting a family dinner here.

Love Mom

Teanna said...

Thank you so much for this fantastic choice! I made it late (finally got it posted today), but it won me a cooking competition between my friends!

Jake.Sara said...

is there something i could use instead of wine?

conkyfilms said...

Grape juice? Apple cider?