Tarte Rustique aux Poires (Rustic Pear Tart)

I borrowed The American Boulangerie by Pascal Rigo and the Bakers of Bay Bread from the library since I was looking for a good Parisian macaroon recipe.

But since I had some ripe pears, in the book I found a recipe for a Rustic Pear Streusel Tart.

I started with the Sweet Tart Dough (Pate Sucree) recipe which makes two 9-inch rustic tart shells or two 9-inch tart shells:

4-1/2 ounces (9 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup plus 3 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 extra-large eggs, well beaten

1. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed. Gradually add the flour and mix until a sandy texture forms. Add the eggs in a steady stream and mix until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Flatten each piece of dough into a disk about 1/2-inch think, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. Any extra dough may be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month.

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, flatten it between two sheets of plastic warp to form a circle 12-1/2 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Lightly oil two 9-inch diameter tart or springform pans with removable bottoms. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month.

For the pear filling (for one 9-inch tart but I was able to make two):

7 medium (2 lbs) pears, ripe but firm
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp tapioca flour

For the streusel topping:

3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 ounces (1/3 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Using a fork, lightly prick the bottom of the tart shell and refrigerate until ready to fill.

2. For the filling, cut the pears in half (leaving skin on) and remove the core. Cut each pear half into 10 lengthwise slices. Place the pear slices in a large bowl and toss the vanilla extract. Add sugar, all-purpose flour, and tapioca flour and toss again. Set aside.

3. For the streusel, in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the all-purpose flour and brown sugar on low speed. Add the butter and continue mixing until fine and crumbly, careful not to overmix.

4. Set aside seven of the pear slices then transfer the remaining pear mixture to the cold tart shell, patting to level the fruit. Arrange the reserved pears in a pinwheel design in the center of the tart. Sprinkle the streusel around the outside of the pinwheel.

5. Bake in the center of the 425 degrees F oven for 25 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes longer, or until well browned and the juices are bubbling. Cool on wire rack before removing from the pan. Serve at room temperature, or even cold. To store, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Here is a completed tart:

And a picture of the inside:

It seemed to be a hit at work, it was all gobbled up. It can be served cold, room temperature, or warmed. I brought some creme fraiche blended with a bit of vanilla extract and sugar to add on top PRN. The pears I had weren’t the sweetest but with the 1/2 cup of sugar was enough to lightly sweeten the tart. I think my crust came out a bit thick but I attribute that to not having a very good work surface, I ended up using my plastic cutting board covered with plastic wrap. This would be so much easier to make on a granite counter top.

I think the recipe is a keeper.

Now I have some ripe bananas to create something with… stay tuned.

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