TWD #46: Pear with me. This one’s a doozy!

January 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm 52 comments

Can you believe it?

My fabulous baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie turned 1 year old on January 1, 2009 and I’ve been baking for 46 weeks of it! What a milestone huh? Excuse me while I toot my own horn. *toot toot*

I have learned so much from all the Dorie bakers since I joined this amazing group. Thank you to everyone for their comments, twitters and sharing their creative adaptions/substitutions with me. I am a better baker now b/c of you all. Truly. No fooling. Here’s looking at many more years… ::champagne glass clink::

To celebrate TWD’s blogiversary, the esteemed author herself, THE Dorie Greenspan, chose this week’s recipe. You can find the recipe on her blog. Also don’t forget to see what the other Dorie bakers thought of the pear tart too!

Let me just start out by saying that this one was a comedy of errors for me. ::smacks head::

  • I made my sweet tart dough the day before, pressed it into mini tart pans and put them in the freezer overnight. Everything aok so far…
  • I went back and forth on using canned vs fresh pears and decided that I wanted to impress Dorie so I went out and bought the fresh. Don’t ask me why I thought fresh was more impressive. My brain is just crazy sometimes…
  • Still wanting to impress Dorie, I did the optional pear poaching for 15 minutes per recipe instructions.
  • While the pears were poaching on the stove, I combined the sugar and butter in food processor for the almond cream and then realized, as I was staring at my Costco size bag of unblanched almonds, that I needed BLANCHED ground almonds. FYI – How to blanch almonds. Some of those suckers peeled so easily while others forced me to drown them in boiling water again. Blanching almonds is not fun. Luckily my husband was nice enough to help me. (Those are his fingers in the picture.)
  • Instead of 2 tsp of rum I started putting in 2 TBSP but noticed my error after the first tbsp and tried to soak up some of the rum with a napkin so who knows how much rum really went into my tart.
  • I was expecting the almond cream to be more cake batter but mine was more like thinned out cookie dough. *shrugs
  • I put the almond cream in the mini tart pans and smoothed them out with a offset spatula before I realized that I never pre-baked the crusts. DOH!
  • I contemplated scooping out all the almond cream to pre-bake crusts but then laziness got the best of me and I said “Screw it!” and started cutting up the poached pears.
  • Poaching the pears made them too mushy. Maybe my pears were too ripe? I have a mushy texture thing so I kinda gagged while assembling the tart. Next time I make this I probably won’t poach or maybe I’ll go for canned.
  • After I put the pears on the tart I thought about taking them off but again the laziness thing came rearing its ugly head so I left them on, popped the tarts in the oven and hope for the best.

What I learned this week:
Sometimes things don’t go as you plan but you just have to roll with the punches, don’t give up and hope for a baking miracle. Who knows. You might just realize that you don’t need to pre-bake the crusts and a little more rum never hurt anyone. LOL

French Pear Tart
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

Makes 1-9inch tart (I made 4-4 inch tarts)

After you poach the pears, slice them lengthwise from top to bottom and remove the pit. I use a small melon baller. Makes it very easy!

I baked my mini tarts for about 30 minutes.


Husband rating: A+
He couldn’t get enough of the pear tart and is struggling with what is his favorite – the cheesecake or this tart. Right now he’s still saying that the cheesecake has a slight edge but not by much. haha

Wifey rating: A+
Even though I had some “issues” with the tart and major pear sinkage this was SO freaking delicious! I will definitely make it again. Maybe next time I’ll switch out the pears for raspberries! YUM!

Other rating: A+
T and I split 1 mini tart and he brought the rest to work. His CWs raved many times. According to T they want to buy me a “thank you” gift now. You know something’s good when ppl want to spend their hard earned money to buy you a gift to say thank you. haha

Next week: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins page 6

Entry filed under: Tuesdays With Dorie. Tags: .

Bunday Monday Non-Foodie Question of the Day

52 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Natalie  |  January 5, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I think that raspberries would be yummy. However, my husband has a real liking for pears and probably wouldn’t let me make this any other way next time.

  • 2. foodlibrarian  |  January 5, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    These are sooo cute! I thought of doing the fresh pear thing…but I made another tart before and the canned pears were fantastic. Mine is in the oven right now…I hope it looks as good as your!!!

  • 3. rainbowbrown  |  January 5, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Dang, look at you. Overcoming all the obstacles to get to those pretty little things. I’m so glad you liked them and all the frantic-ness was worth it!

  • 4. carolina  |  January 5, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    You are so smart to use a melon baller! I lost a pear slice because it met a terrible fate while I tried to core it with my trusty paring knife. It did not help that it was a very ripe and poached pear. I also did not prebake my crust. I was worried, but it turned out okay. I actually did not hear my timer and it got a little browner than I would like. I just love your mini tarts!

  • 5. Nancy (n.o.e.)  |  January 5, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    My husband is in agreement with yours, but I think the tart gets the edge over the cheesecake! I had a major error on my first one, but the second try was really really good. I used un-poached fresh pears and they were perfect. Hey, even if Dorie isn’t impressed with your poaching and your tarts, I am!!

  • 6. pinkstripes  |  January 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Your tartlets look great! I can’t believe you blanched your almonds. I would have said screw it and used the unblanched ones. Good for you. :)

  • 7. Cathy  |  January 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I’m with you on blanching almonds — to me it’s like removing wallpaper — maybe it’ll be easy and maybe it won’t, but you’d still rather not do it. I gave up, used unblanched for one of mine and then bought them blanched for the next! Your tartlets look perfect! I think this is the best TWD recipe I’ve had yet!

  • 8. Rachel  |  January 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Great job, CB. I used mini tart pans, too. Though I did prebake mine for a bit. It was all winging it with smaller portions. And, I might have used more rum…but only 2 tsp actually made it into the tart. ::wink::

  • 9. Katie  |  January 6, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Your list of errors really made me chuckle, especially the mopping up of the rum. I honestly believed that I was the only person to add too much liquid to a recipe and stuff a paper towel in there out of sheer panic.

    Your tarts look real cute, much sweeter than a full version. I tried to make a chocolate variety of a pear and almond tart a few month ago and had to make about three times due to a mountainous pile of mistakes. Was fun though.

    Katie xo

  • 10. L W  |  January 6, 2009 at 5:04 am

    So glad they turned out fab Clara! I knew they would This recipe is a keeper for sure. I think Im going to make it this weekend with another kind of fruit. Not sure what yet, bc I loved the apples so!

  • 11. chocolatechic  |  January 6, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Oh, how I understand.

    There have been so many times I have wanted to impress, only to have it blow up in my face.

    Yours are adorable.

  • 12. Jen  |  January 6, 2009 at 5:23 am

    They look great even with all the things that happened. Nice work!

  • 13. Ulrike  |  January 6, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Great looking tartlets!

  • 14. Courtney  |  January 6, 2009 at 6:00 am

    They look good! This scenario sounds like something that happens to me on a regular basis…oops!

  • 15. Anne  |  January 6, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Looks beautiful, Clara! I’m glad they turned out great after all the grief they gave you! :)

  • 16. stephchows  |  January 6, 2009 at 7:18 am

    they still look delicious! congrats on holding on for 46 weeks!! that’s crazy good! i hate when things don’t go as planned but like you said with your resolution, just smiling makes you feel better :D

  • 17. LyB  |  January 6, 2009 at 7:32 am

    You are my hero. I would probably just have asked my sweetie to run to the store for already blanched almonds! lol! Your little tarts look fabulous! :)

  • 18. Leanne  |  January 6, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Congratulations on 46 weeks worth of baking!! Your tarts look amazing. I did tartlets too but went with unblanched almonds. Glad I did now!! Oh and this was an awesome recipe!

  • 19. Vibi  |  January 6, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Congrats on your first anniversary, Clara! I’m amazed by all you do for this group… and very thankfull too!

    What a better way to celebrate… than with this gorgeous tart, huh? Amazing… and pretty cute!

  • 20. kim  |  January 6, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Oh man, blanching those almonds doesn’t look fun! I’m glad it turned out so well, even if you had a few roadblocks along the way :) My peaches sunk too — I am guessing you need really big fruit that basically touches the bottom for it not to sink? Raspberries sound sooo yum :)

  • 21. mybakingaddiction  |  January 6, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Wow, those look really really tasty! Nice pics! :)

  • 22. Amy Ruth  |  January 6, 2009 at 11:08 am

    You are so cute….. love love love your tarts and all the wonderful photos. I think Dorie will love your post too. They look delicious. I hope you enjoyed at least one bite.

  • 23. Mary Ann  |  January 6, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    your tarts look great! I love reading the ratings at the end of all your recipes. Yum. I am going to make this again too.

  • 24. Madam Chow  |  January 6, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Yes, my husband gave this an A+, too. I think I can safely say this is now officially not just our favorite Dorie recipe, but in our top two dessert recipes, as well.

  • 25. Gretchen Noelle  |  January 6, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Sorry they did not come out quite as you would have liked. I think they look good though. Raspberries sound delicious and I think this recipe will be one I make again and again!

  • 26. Amy (Sing for your supper)  |  January 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Hehe – funny post! I have issues like that pretty much every single time I bake, so don’t feel too bad! It looks like the end result was fabulous, though – these really look amazing!!

  • 27. Girl Japan  |  January 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Oh they came out so darn lovely!!! Even though they were not what you expected I think they look fantastic.

  • 28. Holly  |  January 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I wanted to poach the pears too and ended up going with canned because the pears I bought were too ripe as well. We loved this tart so much too! I love that his CW’s wanted to get you a gift, as well they should for sharing such lovely baked goodness!

  • 29. Steph  |  January 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    awww.. how nice to have someone help you peel those skins! You should definitely try it w/ raspberries, it’s so yummy and no need to poach..haha. I have a thing w/ mushy things too, but after the rice pudding, I’ve gotten better.

  • 30. Peggy  |  January 6, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    oh yours are too cute! Loved this recipe!!!

  • 31. Kayte  |  January 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    My grandmother always said, “It’s a great recipe if it can stand up to the actual making of it!” LOL. I find that true a lot…and I find that many of Dorie’s recipes stand up very well to all my little, “Uh-ohs” along the way. Yours look absolutely amazing. Very pretty.

  • 32. Rebecca  |  January 6, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Yummy! Love the minis.

    BTW, Dorie called, and she is TOTALLY impressed.

  • 33. teaandscones  |  January 6, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I love all the minis everyone is making. Yours look terrific. And 1 tbl = 3 tsp, so it was just a little bit over on the rum. And that’s a bad thing???? Yours look lovely.

  • 34. Di  |  January 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Great job, Clara! Way to overcome those obstacles. I’ve definitely done the “Oops, too much” or “Oops, wrong ingredient” followed by frantic attempts to remove the offending ingredient. =)

  • 35. Elizabeth - Cake or Death?  |  January 6, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Super cute baby tarts! I think raspberries would be awesome in this next time, BTW.

    (And also, props for blanching the almonds .I would have just said ‘screw it’ and left the skins on.)

  • 36. Beth G  |  January 6, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    YUM! Yours are so cute, they look fabulous~ and beautiful photos :O)

  • 37. Farah  |  January 7, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Well done! All you efforts definitely paid off, the tarts look delicious. So glad you persevered with it :-)

  • 38. carolina  |  January 7, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Clara, I just joined my subdivision’s league. You can also look into your city’s Parks and Recreation leagues. They usually have something going on. I still am rusty, but getting back to old form. I have said it once, but will say it again, i love your site!

  • 39. Katrina  |  January 7, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Looks so yummy all puffed up like that. Mine didn’t puff as much, but it’s because I did a freeform (no pan) and didn’t use all the almond cream. SO good though!

  • 40. juju73  |  January 7, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Your tarts look so beautiful!

    I took the easy road and used canned pears!

    Thank you for the belly laugh…your comedy of errors cracked me up!

    And you’re right, a little more rum never hurt anyone!

  • 41. steph (whisk/spoon)  |  January 7, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    i think that almond cream would be awesome with raspberries! and extra rum is certainly a good thing, too :)

  • 42. Linda  |  January 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    By the looks of your cute tartlettes, I wouldn’t have guessed that you had your share of trials and tribulations. Well, alls well that ends well…you ended up with a delish tart…Nice job Clara!!!

  • 43. pamela  |  January 7, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Love the looks of those minis, CB. Great job.

  • 44. Sugar Betty  |  January 7, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    You don’t need to impress Dorie, you just need to impress me! ;) I am very impressed by this entry. Poached pears, mini tart pans, and blanched almonds? Woman, you are crazy. I love it.

  • 45. Erin  |  January 8, 2009 at 6:34 am

    I love your mini tarts! They are so cute. Wasn’t it fun to bake with Dorie this week? :)

  • 46. macduff  |  January 8, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I love the idea of putting raspberries on this! I loved this tart. And to be honest, I used almond butter and cream cheese instead of blanched almonds and butter. Shrug. Tasted great.

  • 47. Piggy  |  January 8, 2009 at 7:14 am

    It’s interesting to know that you’re able to bake the tartlets successfully with the “raw” crusts. And I can’t even tell that you had so much problems in making them because your tartlets look really good!

  • 48. dorie  |  January 8, 2009 at 7:47 am

    I’M IMPRESSED!!! I’d write a longer comment if I could only stop laughing! (I know you’re not supposed to laugh at other people’s mishaps, but you’re so funny I’ve got to believe you really want us to laugh :))

  • 49. Jenny  |  January 8, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Very nice!
    I miss baking with you guys but can’t do it just yet. Maybe again soon!

  • 50. Amy Ruth  |  January 8, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    that dorie, not only is she a really nice person, she is funny too!
    AmyRuth :-))

  • 51. Jules  |  January 8, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    How fabulous that it all worked out anyway! Nice looking tarts.

  • 52. Leslie  |  January 9, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I think your minis looks amazing! Congrats on being a TWD’er for so long!


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