Christmas time is hard to beat- The lights! The sparkle! The peppermint!
But people, it's still Fall! The season of fallen leaves, and pumpkin, and pears! So before you put on your jingle bells and break out the annual Christmas fudge, take a second and enjoy those last juicy pears and crisp apples. Preferably, in tart form.
Pear Apple Tart
Yield: 8 Servings
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
3 ripe pears, peeled (ex. Bartlett)
3 tart apples, peeled (ex. Granny Smith)
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1. First, make the crust. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients for the crust. Add the butter and pulse or paddle until the butter is the size of peas. With the mixer running, add the ice water. Pulse the mixture just until it starts to come together. If it seems to wet, add a little more flour. If it doesn't stick together when pressed in your hand, add a little more ice water. Turn out onto a floured board and form into a disc. Wrap and chill at least one hour.
2. Next make the filling. Core and dice 2 apples and 2 pears into 1/2'' pieces. Place in a sauce pot with the 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and water. Create a parchment lid for your pot by following the directions here but cut the tip off the triangle, so you end up with a circle with a small hole in the center. The lid should fit inside the rim of your pot, not hang over the sides.
3. Place the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has softened, but is not falling apart. You may need to add more water as the fruit cooks to prevent it from drying out if your pears weren't particularly juicy. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
4. When your dough is ready, roll it out to 1/4'' thick, and about 2'' larger than your tart pan. Line the tart pan with the dough and trim the edges. Place back in the fridge to chill.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the remaining pear and apple into quarters and slice each one very thinly.
6. Fill the tart shell about 1/2 way full with your reserved fruit filling. Cover the filling with the fruit slices. Start at the outside of the shell and lay the pear slices down, slightly overlapping each other until you have one large ring of pear slices. Next, use the apple slices and create a smaller ring inside the pear. Continue until the whole tart is covered with apple and pear slices. Don't be afraid to use a lot! It's OK if they seem mounded up in the center; they will shrink as they cook.
7. Brush fruit slices gently with the melted butter and sprinkle generously with more sugar. Bake tart for 50-60 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let cool to room temperature, slice, and serve.
- You may have some fruit filling leftover! Don't use it all if it doesn't look like it's going to fit. You can always store it in the fridge, and reheat it to serve with pancakes or ice cream.
- Try this with just the apples! Follow the same instructions but use a sweet apple instead of Granny Smiths.