Showing posts with label pears. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pears. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ready, Set, Go: A Gluten-Free Pear Tart

Tart crust is most always made with flour. For those who prefer a gluten-free crust, finely ground raw almonds offers a delicious substitute.

In this stay-at-home time, when we have the leisure to bake, an easy-to-make tart is a great way to celebrate good dining and the pleasures of life.

Pear Tart with Ground Almond Dough

Select firm pears with no soft spots. I prefer Bosc pears because they hold their shape when they cook.

Use raw whole almonds and unsalted (sweet) butter. Commercially prepared almond flour can be used to create a lighter crust but is not easy to find.  I prefer grinding raw whole almonds to give the crust more density.

For added spiciness, incorporate ground up crystalized ginger in the dough, but that is optional.

Roll out dough on a sheet of waxed paper to prevent sticking.

Makes a 9" tart or three 3" small tarts

Serves 4-8

Ingredients for crust

1 1/2 cups raw whole almonds
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon white or raw sugar
1 stick or ½ cup sweet butter, kept cold, finely chopped
1 tablespoons ice cold water
1 tablespoon or 3 pieces of crystallized ginger (optional)
Sheet of waxed paper


  1. If using crystalized ginger (optional) use chef’s knife to chop up the ginger as much as you can before further grinding in a food processor with a metal blade.  Place raw whole almonds, sea salt, sugar,  butter and (optional) ground crystalized ginger into the food processor. Pulse 30 seconds until well combined. If ground almonds accumulate on the sides of the processor, shake them loose or use a spatula. 
  2. With food processor on, slowly add ice-cold water. Add enough water so the ground almonds get crumbly and stick together.
  3. Remove dough from food processor. If  making smaller tarts, divide dough accordingly. Gently work dough into a flattened disk about 5 to 6 inches in circumference for the large tart, 2 to 3 inches for the small. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  4. Brush melted sweet butter on tart pan. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or overnight. This will guarantee that the dough will not stick to the pan.

Ingredients for filling

2 pounds Bosc pears, washed
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon raw sugar
2 tablespoons raw almonds


  1. Remove dough from refrigerator and let rest on the counter 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place raw whole almonds on aluminum foil in oven. Roast 5 minutes. Remove and cool. Roughly chop and reserve.
  3. Peel and core pears, discarding skins unless using them to make pear sauce
  4. Cut peeled & cored pears from top to bottom into 1/2" slices
  5. Toss cut pears with lemon juice and brown sugar in a bowl
  6. Place dough on waxed paper and roll out the dough evenly with a rolling pin. Start in the middle and work to the outer edges, keeping the round shape as much as possible. Create a circle of dough 2 to 3 inches larger than the circumference of the tart pan so there’s enough to line the sides.
  7. Take the tart pan out of the freezer. Place tart pan open side down on top of rolled out dough. Gently flip over the dough and pan. Peel off the waxed paper. Carefully ease the dough into the tart pan. Press dough against the sides and along the bottom. Use a paring knife to gently cut off the excess dough.
  8. Use pieces of the excess dough to fill any holes or close any tears. Tarts are very forgiving.
  9. Using the paring knife, poke holes every few inches on the bottom of the dough to release steam during baking. Pour pastry weights or uncooked rice to cover the dough. Bake 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven or until the crust is lightly browned. Cool on a rack. Carefully remove pastry weights or rice.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F.
  11. Lay pear slices on bottom of the tart in a decorative way, which usually means placing them in circles within circles. Pour pear juice over pear slices. Sprinkle pear slices with 1 tablespoon raw sugar. 
  12. Place tart on a baking tray and put in the oven. Bake 20 minutes.
  13. Remove the tart from the oven.  Sprinkle with roasted almonds. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  14. Be careful not to burn pears. Remove tart and let cool on a rack.
  15. Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar and with a bowl of vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pears & Pomegranate Seeds Make a Delicious Thanksgiving Dessert

A last minute dessert suggestion before Thanksgiving. Poach pear sections in a lemony-brown sugar liquid and add pomegranate seeds for a pleasing crunch to counterpoint the soft, sweet pears. Serve the pears as a small plate dessert or as a topping for ice cream or yogurt.
For our meal, I'll make whipped cream to put on top of a bowl with the pears and pomegranates with a few tablespoons of the poaching liquid.

Sweet and Lemony Poached Pears with Pomegranates 
Serves 8

Time to prepare: 10 minutes

Time to cook: 5 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes


2 pounds unblemished small Bosc pears, washed
1 cup golden brown sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds


Peel the pears. Discard the peels and the stems. Cut each pear length-wise into four pieces. Cut and discard the inner stem and seeds. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, over a medium flame, heat the golden brown sugar and lemon juice. Stir and heat until the sugar dissolves.

Add the pear sections to the saucepan. Stir well to coat with the sugar mixture. Cover.
Check ever 2 minutes to stir the pears so they cook evenly and are well coated with the poaching liquid.

After 5 minutes, remove the lid and set aside. Add the pomegranate seeds and stir well.
If making the pears a day or two ahead, transfer the pears, pomegranates and poaching liquid to an air tight container and refrigerate.

The pears can be served cold, hot or at room temperature, depending on taste.


Add 1 tablespoon golden raisins to the poaching liquid and simmer 5 minutes before adding the pears.

Add 1 teaspoon finely chopped candied ginger to the poaching liquid along with the pears.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Sundance Resort's Pear Crisp, Rich with Almonds

Chef Mark Shoup knows about cold weather. The executive chef at Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort in Utah serves up a lot of hot comfort food when hungry skiers sit down in the main dining room, the Foundry Grill.

High on his list of favorites is hot pear crisp topped with ice cream. If you’re counting calories, use whipped cream or yogurt instead.
Perfect by itself for a cold-weather afternoon snack or to end a meal, the crisp can be prepared a day ahead, kept in the refrigerator, and popped in the oven just thirty minutes before serving.

Chef Shoup was kind enough to let me post the recipe on Zesterdaily.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Vegetarian Feast

Tomorrow my wife Michelle comes home after being on the road for three weeks. Working out of town, she hasn't had very many sit-down meals. When she gets home I figured she would appreciate a home cooked meal.

Since she prefers vegetarian dishes, I wanted her to have something simple like soup, a salad (maybe a carrot, spinach, or arugula salad), and a dish of poached fruit. A flavorful, healthy meal would get her back on track after so many days eating on the go.

Vegetarian Tomato Soup

Yield: 4-6 servings
Time: 1 hour


6 celery stalks, including the leaves, washed, finely chopped
2 carrots, washed, ends removed, peeled (save the peels), finely chopped
1 bunch Italian parsley, washed, finely chopped
1 bunch beet greens and stems, washed, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, washed, peeled, stem and top removed, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
1 large farmers' market fresh tomato, washed, stem removed, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
10 cups water


The best vegetables are available at farmers' markets. The beet greens and stalks add a rich sweetness but if you aren't going to buy beets, ask any of the farmers if they'll give you the stalks that people don't want. More often than not, they'll give you a big bunch for free.

Put the chopped tomato on a cutting board or in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Let the tomato marinate while you make the vegetable stock.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot. Add all the celery leaves and half the stalks. Saute until lightly browned, then add the carrot peelings and half the carrots, all the parsley stems, half the beet greens and stems, half the onion, and half the chopped garlic. Stir frequently until lightly browned. Add 8 cups of water. Simmer 30 minutes. Strain and discard the vegetables. Reserve the liquid.

In the same pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. Add the remaining vegetables and lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Add the marinated tomato, the remaining 2 cups of water, and the vegetable stock.

Simmer 30 minutes, taste, adjust the seasoning with sea salt and pepper, and serve.


Add 1 teaspoon cumin when you're making the stock.

Use cilantro instead of parsley.

Use kale instead of the beet greens.

Top with toasted croutons and grated Parmesan cheese.

Just before serving, add 1/4 cup cooked brown rice for each bowl.

Honey Poached Apples and Pears with Vanilla, Raisins, Cinnamon, and Black Peppercorns

Yield: serves 4-6
Time: 20 minutes

The peppercorns add a bit of heat. Personally, I enjoy eating the candied peppercorns, but they're too spicy for most people.


3 ripe pears, Bartlet or Anjou, washed, peeled, cut lengthwise into 8 pieces
3 ripe apples, Fuji or Granny Smith, washed, peeled, cut lengthwise into 8 pieces
20 black peppercorns
2 sticks cinnamon
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic raisins
2 cups water


Put the water, lemon juice, honey, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, raisins, and peppercorns into a medium-sized saucepan and simmer.

Cook the apples and pears separately. Add the pears to the poaching liquid and simmer 5 minutes. Carefully remove the pears and place into a jar or bowl. Add the apples and poach for 5 minutes. Remove and place into a separate jar or bowl.

Reduce the poaching liquid until only 1 cup remains. Divide the thickened sauce between the apples and pears.

The apples and pears will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Serve either at room temperature or reheated. The fruit is delicious by itself but also good as a topping for pound cake, yogurt, cottage cheese, or ice cream.

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