Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chocolate Pear Tort

So, whenever autumn hits my fever for baking returns. And what says fall like pears? 

adapted from:
This recipe is super easy but actually was a bit too bland for my taste. I suggest adding 2 tbsp. of cinnamon and nutmeg to your water when you poach your pears, adding some kick to the chocolate custard with cinnamon, and dusting the top of the tort with a sugar and cinnamon mixture to give it that warm holiday taste. 

Also, just to keep things easy I used a frozen pie crust, but of course feel free to make your own crust dough.

For the poached pears
5 ripe Bosc pears
4-5 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

*add 2 tbsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp nutmeg for added kick

For the custard (from Once Upon a Tart)
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract

*add 1 tbsp cinnamon if desired

2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon to glaze (optional)

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Thaw the pie crust.

2. Next, peel, halve and core the pears. Bring 4-5 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil in a large saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Put in the teaspoon of vanilla extract and stir to combine. Gently place the pears in the water (add more water if needed to completely cover the pears), lower the heat, and cook at a low boil until the pears are just tender when pierced with a fork (but not mushy). For me, this was around the 10-15 minute mark. Drain the water and set the pears aside.

4. Whisk the egg and the egg yolk lightly in a medium-sized bowl. Add the vanilla and whisk to combine. In a double boiler (or a metal bowl set over an inch of gently simmering water so that the bowl bottom doesn't touch the water) melt the chocolate with the cream, stirring and folding with a heat-proof spatula to combine into a smooth and shiny ganache. Stir in the 1/4 cup sugar and cook a few minutes more, until the sugar has melted. Set aside to cool.

5.  Carefully transfer your pear halves to a cutting board and, holding each pear with one hand to keep it intact, carefully slice into thin slices. To fan out the pear slices, press the wide end of the pear gently towards the narrow end. Slide the knife under the fanned pears and arrange them in a circle inside the tart pan. As the tin becomes fuller make a double layer of pear slices

6. To make the custard, slowly dribble about 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. This warms the eggs, preventing them from cooking. Add the rest of the chocolate in a steady stream and stir to combine.

7. Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart pan, pouring as much as possible around the pears rather than on top of the pears. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the chocolate custard is puffed and set (it will be firm to the touch and slightly cracked around the edges). Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

8. Remove the tart from the tart pan and slide onto a plate. If desired, brush the pears with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar and serve slightly warm with icecream and chai tea lattes

Mine didn't look at good as the picture of the finished product on the top of the blog, but yours may :) happy eating.