tarte aux poiresIt’s autumn, which means it’s the best time for pumpkins, apples, mushrooms, and of course, pears! This beautiful tart is perfect for any festive celebration and just plain wonderful with a cup of tea after a walk in the forest. Plus, you’ll taste Normandy in every bite courtesy of the subtle cream and a hint of Calvados!

Tarte aux Poires
Serves 8

For the crust:

  • 300g all-purpose flour
  • 150g cold butter, cubed pinch of salt (preferably fleur de sel)
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1-2 tbsps ice water

For the filling:

  • 500g Doyenne du Comice pear (approximately 2), peeled, cored and slices
  • 400ml crème fraîche
  • 1 ½ tbsps Calvados
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g brown sugar

Mix flour with butter and salt in processor at low speed for about 20 seconds or until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the whisked egg and pulse until dough comes together into a ball. If the dough seems dry, add a drop or two of iced water. Shape the dough into a disk and refrigerate 40 minutes wrapped in cling film. Let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before using it. Grease a 28 cm pie dish with a little olive oil. Roll out your dough on a floured surface and drape over the prepared dish pressing it up against the edges. Trim off any excess dough. Prick the dough with a fork all over its surface and refrigerate it for half an hour. Preheat oven to 190°C, crumple a piece of baking paper, place it on the crust and weigh it down with baking beans. Blind bake the crust for 10 minutes. Increase oven temp to 200°C. Place the sliced pears in a wheel pattern on the baked pie crust. In a bowl, whisk the crème fraîche, Calvados, vanilla extract, cinnamon, eggs and sugar. Pour the custard over the pears and bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.

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