Monday, 3 October 2011

Spiced pear and apple tart

I wish I could give you a proper recipe for this, because it was really very good, but I can't. You see, I went into the kitchen with an idea in my head and just sort of riffed until it came together.

This is not my usual approach. Normally I would google, find 6 approximate recipes for what I wanted to achieve, consult another 3 cookbooks and see what they had to say on the matter, then put together all the bits I liked. I found it remarkably freeing not to go through that process!

I made a sweet shortcrust pastry, from a bit more flour than butter, with some sugar and an egg.

While the pastry rested, I made a spiced apple puree from 5 very small apples, a slosh of hard cider, a spoonful of sugar and a goodly pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. When the apples were soft I squashed them with a fork to a rough puree.

I blind-baked the pastry case while the apple puree cooled. I felt that this was the best approach to getting crisp pastry.

Then I spread the puree in the case and topped it with halved pears, raw and pretty hard, cut into slices for prettiness and ease of serving later. I brushed the pear halves with a little calamondin marmalade.

I baked it for about 40 minutes until the pears were burnished and the pastry was an appetising golden brown and the kitchen smelled like autumn.



25 comments:

Deb in Hawaii said...

Gorgeous! Sometimes the best recipes are the ones we improvise. ;-) This one just screams out fall.

Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream) said...

Looks very pretty

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

I can totally see autumn in this tart! And I can almost smell it...

Suelle said...

Looks very tasty!

Of course, the years of poring over recipes give you the grounding and confidence to improvise (and to know where you can't!).

Foodycat said...

Deb - thanks!

Beth - thank you!

Leafy - the smell is absolutely gorgeous.

Suelle - very true. I couldn't improvise a cake, but a tart is OK!

wildtomato said...

It does look like autumn in tart! Lovely!

Simona said...

It appears that the pear crop this year is very nice, so I have been meditating on a pear tart myself. I like your idea of using a spiced apple puree as base and also the nice presentation of the pears on the tart. Very nice. And congratulations for the CtB victory!

Foodycat said...

Wild tomato - thanks!

Simona - I've always liked those French apple tarts that have a base of apple puree. But I thought kicking in some spice would make a bridge to the pears.

~~louise~~ said...

I was here for British Food yesterday but didn't get a chance to comment. Delighted! Now, I get to see your enticing tart! I had to laugh to myself. I do the exact same thing when trying to compile a recipe. Mine don't usually work out as beautifully.

Thanks for sharing...

I must add, British Food is highly under rated. I'm going to check out that author!

Faux Fuchsia said...

this looks stunning, I want one x

Foodycat said...

Louise - British food is seen as something of a joke, which is really unfair!

Faux - thank you! I don't usually go in for presentation but this tart just lends itself.

grace said...

this sounds REALLY tasty, and i love the artful display of pears atop the apple goo. nice!

Brain said...

Looks yummy! And spontaneous cooking is great, especially when it's successful :)

Angie's Recipes said...

Marvelous! I love the placement of the pears...very pretty.

Foodycat said...

Grace - it contains cinnamon, I knew you would like it!

Brain - yes, I could really come around to this spontaneous cooking malarky.

Angie - thank you! Pears lend themselves to that sort of treatment, I think.

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

Now that's what I call a tart! Love how you've presented the fruit

Joanne said...

I'm usually a recipe researcher as well but sometimes going with your gut instinct pays off. This is definitely one of those times!

girlichef said...

Well, it's absolutely STUNNING! Yummmm.

Foodycat said...

Adrian - thanks!

Joanne - the research method is fun too though.

Heather - thanks!

hungryandfrozen said...

Hooray for improv. I know what you mean about consulting different recipes, I only do that if it's something a bit technical, like bread. This tart looks completely gorgeous!

Sook said...

Wow.. this recipe is awesome! I think I need to save this for my father-in-law who loves pear tarts.

newlywed said...

Wow -- very impressive. I've never improvised when baking, because I don't have enough basic knowledge. This looks great!

Foodycat said...

Laura - if it's bread I find one recipe and stick to it!

Sook - well I think he will like this one!

Newlywed - pastry has pretty fixed proportions, so it isn't like I was messing around with a cake recipe. That would be beyond me! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Choclette said...

You know what, this is the best sort of baking - just doing your own thing. This looks lovely and I bet tasted delicious too.

Choosy Beggar Tina said...

What a gorgeous looking tart! The little sliced fruit bums are absolutely charming. I can almost smell it!

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