Tuesday, December 1, 2009
TWD - Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tart
This week's Tuesday with Dorie is hosted by Lauren of I'll Eat You, who has chosen the alliterative Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tart for this week's recipe.
As you can see, this tart is an absolute feast for the eyes with the contrasting muted green and red, and would be a fabulous centrepiece at a dinner party. It also tastes obscenely good - the pastry cream contains pistachio nuts, which gives it an interesting flavour and texture as well as giving it a green hue, and the pears poached in red wine are tender and flavourful. The caramelised chopped pistachios on top add texture, and their hard crunchiness contrasts nicely with the softer filling beneath.
However, the drawback of making this tart is that it is major production. There are four separate components to make (five if you make the pouring syrup), and two of those components need several hours to chill. I ended up making this tart over 4 nights, starting with making and freezing the unbaked pie crust on day one, then making the pastry cream on day two, poaching the pears, baking the pie crust and caramelising the pistachios on day three, then finally assembling it and making the syrup on day four. Once again, you can't just decide to make this a couple of hours before guests arrive; you need to plan and set aside the time to make the various components and assemble the finished tart.
OK, enough of the analysis. There is only a photo of the finished product in Dorie's book, so I thought it would be fun to show you the step by step photos.
First, here are the poached pears, drained of the poaching syrup:
Aren't they a gorgeous colour? I poached my pears in a bottle of 1997 Mount Tambourine Black Shiraz that I had hoarded for years, then promptly ruined for drinking when the cork disintegrated into the wine on opening.
And here are the pears sliced in half to demonstrate the contrast between the coloured outer pear, which touched the poaching syrup, and the tender but uncoloured inner pear:
This is the pistachio pastry cream; you could choose to strain out the nuts, but I liked the texture that they added to the pastry cream:
These are my caramelised pistachios, which went slightly sticky even after one night:
And finally, here is the finished product, sliced to show the layers:
I made the optional syrup to go with my tart, figuring that any leftovers would be delicious poured over icecream:
I loved this tart, but because of the time intensive nature of this tart and the expense of the ingredients, it won't be in regular rotation here. However, for a special occasion, it is a real winner as an adult dessert.
To see the recipe, go to Lauren's site; and to see how the other TWD members went with this tart and what they thought, visit the TWD blogroll.