Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pear & Chèvre Tart

What better way to celebrate the height of summer than with a fall tart? After some deliberation, Dylan decided we should christen our new tart pans with a combination of honey, goat cheese, pears sauteed in butter and bourbon, on the most sublime crust ever. Off we went separately for the ingredients and met again in the kitchen, hungry and excited to concoct our own recipe together.

We tend to have a general idea of how to create a dish, relying heavily on memories of restaurant meals or old cookbooks, but I wanted to go to the source for the tart dough. I googled tart dough and the first several recipes listed the usual, Martha Stewart-ish sugar dough, which looks delicious but has about eight more steps than I care to deal with, especially the dreaded, chill for 6 hours to overnight. Really? I stared at the screen convinced instructions like this are how the French keep the rest of the world from bastardizing their cuisine by dent of our sheer laziness. Ha Ha! Zey zink you ef to cheel eet over ze nuit! Eediots. So, I kept searching, and voila! David Lebovitz blogged the end all, flakiest, tastiest, most incredible tart dough courtesy of Chef Paule Caillet. 20 minutes start to finish. No tendonitis from trying to combine cold butter and flour, no giving up and resorting to boxed puff pastry dough. This dough is truly sublime. I will use this recipe to make simple shortbread cookies, with fresh rosemary or maybe lavender sugar, or pistachios. Ooh, or making a tomato tart version, or peaches and marscarpone cheese...I love experimenting.

While I prepared the dough, Dylan sliced the pears (2 small Taylor Golds) and sauteed them in butter, brown sugar,  and a bit of bourbon until soft. I spread the warm dough into the buttered tart pan and baked it for about 10 minutes, just until it started to brown. When it cooled a bit, he spread honey goat cheese on the bottom, sprinkled some freshly chopped rosemary on top, drizzled local honey on that, and then layered the pears. Back into the oven until the crust browned and the pears caramelized a bit. The aroma! Oh my, the aroma alone was enough to wish we had made two tarts so I could eat the first instantly and take the pictures later.

The finished tart was worth the wait. The crust was flaky, buttery, with a satisfying amount of crumbly texture. The rich, savory, cheese paired nicely with the fruit and honey sweetness. This would make a great brunch dish. Who am I kidding? I could eat this tart morning, noon, and night. My only word of caution is to definitely make two. You'll be sad the next morning thinking it would have been fabulous for breakfast. Live and learn and make (several) tarts!


Abigail said...

I'm dying to try this, is it just plain goat cheese? Sauteed pears and that's it? that simple? Your pictures and words are lovely.

Heather said...

Thanks, Abigail! Yes, it is honeyed goat cheese, the kind in a log, not crumbles. Plain would work as well, but this added a bit more flavor. It was a very simple tart to make. Thanks for reading!