October 14, 2014

Rustic Pear Tart




Tart as in cake topped with fruit and baked, not the filled crust-type tart. This is more of a European terminology for any kind of cake or pastry with fruit. The rustic kind of tart.






Home grown bartlett pears graced this tart, and homemade apricot nectar gave it the finishing touch. 
(See my recipe for Homemade Apricot Nectar here ).

This is a sturdy, wholesome dessert; a no-fuss recipe which is very easy to put together.

The simple preparation lets the pure flavor of pears shine through.       






 Be sure to use a springform pan (see note below) as it allows for more room that a typical cake pan and helps to keep the tart from crumbling.








Rustic Pear Tart

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1/2 cup (1 stick) organic butter
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, devided
 1 pound firm-ripe pears, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick 
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup natural cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
 Apricot jam, for glazing (optional) 

Butter a 9-inch springform pan* and set aside.
 Squeeze half of the lemon juice over the sliced pears.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, & baking powder.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Spread batter in the prepared pan, smoothing to the edges.
Wrap and chill in fridge for 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 F.
Arrange the pear slices on top of the chilled batter in concentric circles, or any way that pleases the eye, so long as there is a single layer (slices will overlap slightly).
Bake 45-55 minutes, until edges are just golden and center is set; do not overbake.
Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan to a wire rack.
While tart is still warm, glaze with the jam, if desired. (A pastry brush works well for this.)   
 Slice & serve.

* if pan is non-stick, line buttered pan with parchment and then butter the parchment. This is a good way to protect food from exposure to the Teflon-laced nonstick coating, in the absence of a stainless steel pan.  

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