GCC: Menu 22 - Pear, Mascarpone and Hazelnut Tart (Part 2)

I’m so cheating right now. 

Why? Because I should be posting our Gutsy Cooks Club Menu # 23, which is English Muffins which then are used to make Egg Benedict.

And of course that picture above does not look anything like an egg on top of an English muffin smoother with Hollandaise Sauce. 

What it looks like is this yummy tart.  Filled with a mascarpone filling and poach pears.  And it was the second part of my original Menu 22 post from last week.

Yes, guys.  I’m behind.  See this past week was my last day at my old job and well, things got a way from me with all the preparation that I needed to do in order to call last Friday my last day at work.  Of course posting suffered.  So, now I’m playing catch up.  Hold on to your seats, there will be a tremendous amount of post coming up this week.

But back to the Tart.

I thought it was going to be difficult to make and it was not.  I would probably be even faster if I had used the can pears that were called on the recipe, but I just did not have the heart to use a can something for a desserts that sounded so good.  So I opted to poach my pears and used Simply Recipe Marsala Poached Pears recipe.

Pear, Mascarpone, and Hazelnut Tart 
adapted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible   

For the pastry dough 

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 6 tablespoon butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 large egg, beaten 

For the filling 

  • 2/3 cup mascarpone
  • ½ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoon whole milk, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 canned and drained pears, sliced (or poached your own)
  • 1/3 cup toasted, skinned, hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon apricot preserves, strained 
  1. For the pastry, pulse the flour, sugar, and zest in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until the dough begins to clump together. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll out on a floured work surface into a round about 1/8 in (3mm) thick. Line a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and trim the excess. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Since this is going to need to be blind baked first, the best trick in order not to use any weights is to do this step before putting it in the oven. Butter the shiny side of apiece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust (since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the art pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust. Bake about 12 minutes until the pastry looks set and begins to brown. Carefully remove the foil.  If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon, continue to bake 10 more minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  3. Reduce the temperature to 325°F. Mix the mascarpone, sugar, egg and yolk, milk, and vanilla together until smooth and pour into the tart shell. Arrange the sliced pears in the filling, sprinkle with the hazelnuts, and then the sugar. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the filling is just set.
  4. Cool on a wire rack. Brush with the preserves, slice, and serve.  While the tart is good at room temperature, its even better cold, so putting it in the refrigerator is an added plus.

It would come to no surprise that Tom loved this tart … cooked fruit – check, custard – check, and nuts – check and check.  He loved it so much he got greedy and did not want to share even with his own mother!

My verdict is simple - the filing was good and probably would work with other fruit as well like apples. The tart was flaky and perfect vessel to hold all that creamy goodness.  I’m also thinking that cooking the pears with a bit of sugar and maybe brandy over the stove would be good too.

I’m going to point you to the other Gutsy Cooks creations, but you may have to dig depper in their archives to find this recipe, since I think that ship has sail, but you can check out their take on this weeks option which of course is those English Muffins turn into the most favorite brunch menu item - Eggs Benedict.  And if you like what you see, come join us and cook along each week with us.