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Pear and Red Wine Custard Tart in a Hazelnut Crust
Date: March 31, 2016
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 bottle of dry red wine
- 1 cup of fresh orange juice
- 1/3 of a cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 8 pears
- 5 ½ ounces hazelnuts
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Pinch salt
- 6 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg – beaten
- 3 whole eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, combine two-thirds of the granulated sugar with the wine, orange juice, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks and bring to the boil over a high heat. Boil for about 12 minutes.
- Cut a circle of greaseproof paper to fit just inside the saucepan. Peel, quarter and core the pears. Add them to the pan and lightly press the greaseproof paper on top.
- Bring to the boil over a moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in the poaching liquid.
- While the pears are cooking, place the hazelnuts in a pie pan and bake for about 15 minutes until their skin cracks. Transfer the hot nuts to a kitchen towel and rub them together to loosen their skins. Let them cool completely.
- In a food processor, combine the cooled hazelnuts with the remaining granulated sugar and process to a fine powder. Add the flour, confectioners ‘sugar and salt and pulse to blend.
- Add the butter and pulse until only a few large pieces remain.
- Add the one beaten egg and process just until a dough forms.
- Gather the dough into a ball.
- Roll out the dough to cover the base of a 9 inch fluted flan tin with a removable base.
- Pierce the bottom all over with a fork. Cover the tart shell and freeze for 1 hour. (This recipe can be prepared to this point up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate the pears.)
- Line the cold tart shell with greaseproof paper and fill with dried beans.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is set and golden.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool, then carefully remove beans.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Strain the wine syrup through a fine sieve and return it to the saucepan. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer until the syrup has reduced to ¾ of a cup, for about 15 minutes.
- Pour syrup into a bowl and let cool until just warm.
- Arrange pears in quarters in the baked tart shell on their sides in two concentric circles, overlapping them slightly if necessary.
- Beat the whole eggs into the warm wine syrup until blended.
- Pour the mixture evenly over the pears and bake for 40-50 minutes.
- Transfer the tart to a rack to cool and serve at room temperature.
Wine: Champagne Blanc Noir
Yields: 6–8 Servings