From the book “Cooking California: Parties, Picnics & Celebrations”, here is a great recipe for baking a chocolate pear tart. You can make this dessert for any occasion. It has a great combination of chocolate and fresh fruit that your friends, family and guests will surely enjoy.
*NOTED: This recipe contains some alcoholic beverages as ingredients*
Shortbread Crust Ingredients:
– 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 9 tablespoons sifted confectioners’ sugar
– 1 1/2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
Chocolate Layer Ingredients:
– 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Poached Pears Ingredients:
– 2 cups water
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 1-inch piece of vanilla been (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
– 1 3-inch strip of lemon peel
– 1/2 cinnamon stick
– splash of Cognac
– 4 pears (preferably Bosc), peeled, halved, stemmed, and cored
– 1 12-ounce jar of apricot preserves
– 2 tablespoons curacao or other orange liqueur, or pear brandy
– 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Make the shortbread crust by creaming together the sugar and butter. Mix in the flour to form a soft dough. Add 1 more tablespoon of butter if needed to include all the flour.
3. Pat the dough evenly by hand into the bottom and 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Prick well with a fork. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Then let it cool down.
4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Spread on the bottom and sides of the tart shell and let it cool until the chocolate hardens.
5. To prepare the poached pears, bring water and sugar to a boil over medium heat in a large saucepan, stirring only until the sugar is dissolved. add the vanilla bean, lemon peel, cinnamon stick, and Cognac and cook for 5 minutes. Add the pears and poach for 10 to 15 minutes, until they can be easily pierced with a sharp paring knife. Let cool in the syrup.
6. For glaze, put the apricot preserves in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Strain and add the liqueur.
7. To asseble, drain the pears well, pat them dry, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, and arrange carefully in the tart shell. Brush the pears with some of the apricot glaze and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.
You have just created a delicious 10-inch chocolate pear tart! Enjoy!
If you have any questions or success stories please share in the comments below:
Nowling, Betty, Michael Skott, and Lois Dwan. California Cooking: Parties, Picnics & Celebrations. New York: C.N. Potter, 1986. Print.