Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Farm Wife's Fresh Pear Tart

This tart will be the perfect companion to a hot, frothy vanilla latte later tonight! It is light and fresh, almost cobbler-like. So simple to make--the only "specialty" ingredient that you need is the pears!

A Farm Wife's Fresh Pear Tart
"Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" Marcella Hazan
6 servings

(If you have the option, choose Bosc or Anjou pears. Bartlett pears will suffice, but the flavor will be better with other varieties.)

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 pounds fresh pears (about 4)

a 9-inch round cake pan
butter, for greasing the pan and dotting the cake
1/2 cup dry, unflavored bread crumbs (a personal option--I prefer to omit the step)
1 dozen whole cloves (optional--I like them!)

Preheat oven to 375.
Beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Add the sugar and a tiny pinch of salt and continue to beat. Add the flour, mixing it in thoroughly to produce a compact cake batter.
Peel the pears (I found a veggie peeler worked great!), cut them in half, core, and slice into thin slices. Add them to the batter and distribute them evenly.
Smear the pan generously with softened butter and sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs. Turn the pan and give it a sharp rap against the counter to shake loose excess crumbs.
Pour the batter into the pan, leveling it off with the back of a spoon or spatula. Make numerous small hollows on top with your fingertips and fill them with small pieces of butter. Stud with the optional cloves, random, but apart.
Place the pan in the upper third of the oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the top has become lightly colored.
While the tart is still lukewarm, carefully loosen the tart from the bottom of the pan, lift it up with spatulas, and transfer to a platter. It is very nice served while still a little warm, or at room temperature.

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