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.


Gloria said...

Love pears Cakelaw and this recipe look awesome and delicious! gloria

Anonymous said...

It looks absolutely gorgeous! You're right though, it was quite a production. At least it was delicious and beautiful, and you got to use the wine that wasn't so good for drinking!

Tammy said...

I nearly flagged this because of the time involved! Please you enjoyed it even though it was an effort to produce!

margot said...

Your tart looks beautiful! You were very smart to divide the components up over a few days, I crammed it all in on Sunday and it was tiring. It really is a lovely dessert.

Nina said...

Your tart looks spectacular!! Great job. Love the step-by-step photos!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful recipe. I like the poached pears pattern. So pretty.

natalia said...

Ciao ! I love the step by step ! I thought it was a grown up dessert too but when I came back to my dish Anita had 'licked' it !!!

Romaine said...

Wow, your slice turned out really good. Cool!

Flourchild said...

I know this one was a ton of work..I just didn't have the time to do it. Im glad it tasted good!

Lauryn said...

Your tart looks great!! I love your step by step photos! and your pears really got such beautiful color! I enjoyed making this one!!!

Jennifer said...

Your tart looks amazing!!!!!!

Clivia said...

Lovely! I'm so glad you included the production photos. They're very artistic too!

Lillian said...

I like your step-by-step photos. This tart certainly was a production, wasn't it?

isa said...

Your tart looks abolutely fantastic! Very well done!

Ivy said...

I love poached pears. I made them a couple of weeks ago and will try this recipe as well.

The Blonde Duck said...

Those look great!!!

Anonymous said...

mm poached pears!
the tart pattern reminds me of the french apple tart.
love the arrangement!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Aww but it looks totally worth the effort-absolutely spectacular! :D

Susan said...

I didn't make this. Didn't have pears or nuts. But, looking at your photos and reading your tips, I will have to give it a try.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Ellie - this is a very good recipe.

Thanks Margot. Phew, that would have been an effort doing it all in one day!

Thanks Nina.

Hi Gloria, this one is perfect for pear fans.

Thanks Jill - and this recipe was perfect for saving that wine!

Thanks Tammy.

Hi Ivy, I've never poached pears before, but would again - they are delicious.

Thanks Isa.

Hi Clivia, I got right into this one - hence all the photos!

Hi Lillian, it was - thank goodness it tasted good after all that!

Hi Michelle, I can completely understand that. Thanks!

Thanks Lauryn - I really enjoyed making it too.

Thanks Jennifer :)

LOL Natalia - just don't tell the neighbours.

Thanks Romaine.

Thanks Duckie :)

Hi Muffins, French apple tart is delish - we made that earlier for TWD.

Thanks Lorraine.

Hi Susan, for a special occasion when you have a bit of time up your sleeve, this dessert tastes good and looks pretty.

TeaLady said...

Beautiful tart.

I poached mine in honey so it didn't have the color it needed, but still good.