Maybe you are stuffing your face with all kinds of pie as I write this. In that case I envy you. I love pie. Seriously, I am bordering on fanatical. Flaky pastry filled with apples, cherries, blueberries, rhubarb, pumpkin, chocolate, pecans..The list feels almost endless.
I did actually bake a pumpkin pie today. And a silky pumpkin tart. The latter I will post soon.
Instead I am sharing this pretty little thing with you today. It is my non traditional take on a classic French pear tart with a crisp pate pâte sucrée, gin scented almond frangipane and wheat beer, hibiscus and gin poached pears. I served it with an orange Chantilly cream, that just brought everything together.
Poaching the pears in the hibiscus and beer syrup doesn't overpower the mild floral flavour of the pears, but gives them a lovely floral, citrusy sweetness and such a pretty dark pink color. I would recommend a quite firm pear, that holds its shape so you don't get a mushy tart.
When I was a kid my Mom's family would get to gather for these family weekends every September. Three days surrounded by some of the people I love the most in the world. One of my second cousins is a baker, and he would always bring pear tarts for Saturday night's dessert. And so pear tarts became something really special to me.
Tarte bourdaloue with hibiscus and beer poached pears
Makes four 8cm/3" tarts
4 pears, peeled, cored and cut in half lenghtwise
500ml wheat beer
175g granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. gin
2 Tbsp. dried hibiscus flowers
Add beer, sugar, gin and hibiscus flowers to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the pears. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the pears are firm but tender. Turn of the heat and cool the pears in the poaching liquid.
140g unsalted butter at room temperature
96g confectioners sugar
235g all purpose flour
25g almond flour
1/4 tsp. salt
With a hand held mixer cream together butter and sugar until pale and very creamy. Mix in the egg and then flour, salt and almond flour. Mix only until the dough comes together.
Divide the dough in 4 balls and press into flat discs. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour.
Roll out the discs to about 4mm thickness and line four tart rings with the pastry. Chill for 30 minutes, meanwhile prepare the frangipane.
60g unsalted butter at room temperature
60g granulated sugar
75g almond flour
1 tsp. gin
Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Mix in the egg and then almond flour and gin. Divide the frangipane in the four pastry shells.
Remove the pears from the syrup and dry them slightly on a piece of kitchen towel. Slice the pears in 1/2cm / 1/4 inch thickness and place a sliced pear half on top of the frangipane in each of the tart shells.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 180C/350F.
Cool in the tart rings until cool enough to handle, remove the rings and cool to room temperature.
Serve with creme fraiche, Chantilly cream or ice cream.