The contrast of buttery cream and red wine–poached pears makes these tarts a stunning addition to your holiday spread. For the prettiest presentation, prepare the pastry, cream and poached pears in advance, then assemble the tarts just before serving. Use a small melon baller or a metal measuring spoon to easily core the pears.
- Portion size 8 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: January 2015
MethodIn large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces. Drizzle ice water over top, tossing with fork to form ragged dough and adding up to 1 tsp more ice water if necessary. Shape into disc; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
On lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to generous 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness. Using 4-1/4-inch (11 cm) round cutter, cut out 8 rounds, rerolling scraps as necessary. Press 1 round into each of eight 4-inch (10 cm) round mini tart pans with removable bottoms. Refrigerate on rimmed baking sheet until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Prick pastry bottoms all over with fork; line each with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in 375 F (190 C) oven until edges are golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper; bake until pastry is golden, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool completely in pans. (Makeahead: Remove from tart pans; store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)
Vanilla Cream: Meanwhile, in bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and flour until pale, smooth and thickened. In heavy bottomed saucepan, heat milk just until bubbles begin to form around edge; gradually whisk into egg yolk mixture until combined. Return to saucepan; bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is consistency of pudding, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla until smooth. Strain through fine mesh sieve into clean bowl; place plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. (Makeahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
Poached Pears: In saucepan, bring wine, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean to boil. Add pears; reduce heat and simmer, turning occasionally, just until a knife inserted in several meets no resistance, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat; let pears cool in liquid for 20 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to cutting board. Discard cinnamon stick and vanilla bean; bring liquid to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate pears and syrup separately in airtight containers for up to 24 hours. Bring pears to room temperature and reheat syrup before assembling tarts.) Cut pears lengthwise into scant 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices.
Spoon about 2 tbsp of the cream into each tart shell; top with pear slices and drizzle with red wine syrup.
Nutritional facts per tart: about
- Fibre 2 g
- Sodium 91 mg
- Sugars 35 g
- Protein 5 g
- Calories 377.0
- Total fat 15 g
- Potassium 218 mg
- Cholesterol 129 mg
- Saturated fat 8 g
- Total carbohydrate 53 g
- Iron 11.0
- Folate 22.0
- Calcium 7.0
- Vitamin A 18.0
- Vitamin C 3.0