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Pear & Ginger Tart

It was teacher appreciation day on Tuesday and I volunteered to make a dessert. For some reason I got it into my head to make a pear tart. I searched around the internet and pulled a bunch of different ideas from a bunch of different places; taking ingredients that I liked from different recipes and creating my own. I love ginger, and i think pears and ginger go great together. I also love dutch apple pie. I wanted some vanilla bean in the pear mixture and nuts in the topping. I wanted to pre-bake the pastry shell so it didn’t get too soggy when I baked the pears in it.

This is what I came up with, and it was crazy delicious. Vanilla ice cream was perfect with it. Jim just wanted a bite, but ended up eating the whole slice it was so good.

Pear & Ginger Tart

Nut Crisp Topping

  • 7 oz All-Purpose flour
  • 3 oz brown sugar
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cups ground nuts (I used half almonds and half pecans)
  • 6 oz cold butter, cut into cubes
  • Stir the dried ingredients together.

    Add the butter and mix in with your fingers. As the butter warms up, the mixture will begin to come together with a crumbly, but not sandy texture.

    Store in freezer until ready to be baked.

    Firm Crust American Pie Dough

    For an 8- or 9-inch single pie shell. Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, September, 1996.


  • 1-1/4
 cups unbleached all-purpose flour , plus extra for dusting dough
  • 1/2 
teaspoon table salt
  • 1 
tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 
tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 
tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 3–5 
tablespoons ice water


    Mix flour, salt, and sugar in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat butter with a little of the flour. Cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses.

    Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

    Sprinkle 3 tablespoons ice water over mixture.

    With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 2 tablespoons more ice water if it will not come together. Shape into ball with hands, then flatten into 4-inch-wide disk. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling.

    Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to two days.

    Remove from refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling and preheat oven to 325o. Roll dough out to a circle large enough to fit into a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom with just a little overhang. Press into tart pan with your fingers and trim any excess and piece any empty spots or tears. Line your pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove weights and parchment and bake for another 8-10 minutes until just turning golden brown. If necessary, cover the edge of the crust to prevent it from over-browning.

    For Pie Filling

    Peel the pears and halve them from stem to stern. Use a paring knife to cut out the interior stem and a melon baller to remove the core. Cut into a large dice.

    Increase the oven temperature to 350o. Pour the lemon juice over the diced pears and toss to coat.

    In a bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and whisk to combine. Put the seeds from the vanilla bean in the sugar mixture, and using your fingers or the palms of your hands, rub the sugar to get the vanilla beans to separate and mix evenly throughout the sugar mixture. Add the fresh grated ginger and do the same thing. This will turn the sugar mixture wet and sandy.

    Add the sugar mixture to the pears and with clean hands toss to evenly coat the pears with the sugar mixture.

    Fill the pre-baked tart crust with the prepared pear mixture, mounding slightly in the center and evenly distributing the pears around the crust.

    Take the nut topping out of the freezer. You may need to break it up a bit with a fork. Sprinkly the mixture evenly over the pear filling. You may not be able to get all of the topping onto the tart – I had leftovers. Press the mixture slightly into the crust.

    Bale at 350o, turning once half-way through baking, until golden brown all over, about 50-60 minutes.

    This is really best served barely warm from the oven, but definitely is best served at least the day made. It still tastes good the next day or after that, but the crust will get soggy. Pears are so moist. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!

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