Pears are probably one of the most overlooked fruit, in my opinion. I don’t know if it’s that they get lost amongst the apples during the same season, or that people haven’t eaten enough pears to fall in love with them, and call them one of their favorites? I happen to adore pears and think they are one fruit, that’s great to eat fresh at room temperature, or sliced, mildly chilled and served with cheese or other accoutrement. Pears are also divine to bake with, and deserve a spotlight to showcase how delicious they do taste.
Rustic tarts are fairly easy to make, and their presentation is definitely different than being baked in a tart pan. I love the country-looking style of roughly folded edges that crisp up beautifully in the oven. There’s something about a not-so perfect dessert that’s appealing, it reminds me of real life.
My crust recipe is pretty basic, but sometimes I add a little shortening into the mix because I notice a flakier situation going on afterwards, and who doesn’t love a tender flaky crust? The topping is a blend of sugars, both white and brown with warming spices, oats and butter. What I have learned about baking these rustic tarts over the years, is to roll the dough as thin as possible, so when you fold it up around the edges it’s not too thick and doesn’t put the balance of fruit to crust out of whack. Remember, you want a crust to crumble when you pinch it after baking, and not feel as if you need a saw for cutting into it. I like to serve this tart warm right out of the oven, and sometimes it’s nice to top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, diced
2 tablespoons shortening, diced
3 large pears, cored and sliced – any variety
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg for wash
(Makes 10-inch Tart)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For Crust – in a stand mixer or large bowl, add flour and salt. Mix to combine. With mixer running on low – add butter and shortening, mix until coarse crumbs. Pour in 1/2 cup ice cold water and mix until dough just begins to come together. Dump dough out onto plastic wrap and form into a disc. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
- Add all Filling ingredients to a large bowl and toss to coat pears. Set aside.
- In another bowl, add all Topping ingredients except butter and olive oil, mix to combine. Add diced butter and oil and using your hands, squeeze gently to create coarse crumbs.
- Remove dough from plastic and place on flour dusted counter top. Roll out into a 14-inch circle. Roll dough around pin and unroll onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Fill center with pears and sprinkle with topping, leaving a 3-inch border around perimeter. Trim off any uneven dough around edges. Fold dough up around edges and press to seal. Place tart in freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
- Remove tart and brush with beaten egg around edges. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove and let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing. Enjoy!