This week’s recipe is the Whiskey Pear Tart from Baked Explorations. I have a long standing love for pear tarts (and whiskey, though that is much more recent). Growing up I had the privilege to frequent an outstanding french restaurant and patisserie called La Chatelaine, which taught me just how good fruit tarts could be. I was delighted to discover that those delicious confections are not terribly hard to make, and are wonderfully pretty.
This recipe turned out beautifully, and tasted amazing. However it was not the easiest recipe to do, with a lot of steps and a lot of time waiting for things to chill. The flavor was delicately almond, with a touch of vanilla. I didn’t really taste much whiskey at all. I used Jameson, because it’s our favorite and we always have it in the house. The recipe starts off with an overnight soak of canned pears in a mixture of whiskey, lemon juice and vanilla. I kind of suspected that one 15 oz can wouldn’t provide enough pears to cover the tart, so I bought extra just in case. I also made the dough for the crust the evening before so that it could chill overnight.
I had a bit of trouble with the dough, when I put all the ingredients together in the food processor I just ended up with a sandy mess. I had to add a bit of water to get it to adhere together. I’m also not entirely sure where my rolling pin is, we just moved and I’m still in the process of figuring out where all of my cooking gadgets have gone. I ended up MacGyvering it by using a stainless steel water bottle, which luckily worked just as well. I decided to roll out the dough using waxed paper, because that’s how my mom taught me to do pie dough, and it’s a technique that’s always worked well for me.
The filling was very easy to make, and the tart was a cinch to assemble. I’m glad I had those extra pears on hand because the tart was really improved with more fruit on top. When it came to making the glaze though, I tend to read instructions like “Boil until you have about 3/4 of a cup” as nonsensically impractical, and instead just boiled it for “awhile.” The finished tart was excellent, so much so that we polished it off the same day. I would definitely consider making it again. In fact I think that the crust and almond filling would lend itself to other kinds of fruit toppings, like strawberry, depending on what is available.