Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TWD - Fold-Over Pear Torte

Today, I want to clap my hands - after two years (almost to the day) of baking along on Tuesdays with Dorie, it is my turn to pick a recipe. Hooray! My first TWD was aptly the pick of my blogging friend, Tammy, of Wee Treats by Tammy - the Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake.

Along the way, I have made many things that I otherwise might never have tried (some of which I liked, others not so much), and learned some new skills. I have almost mastered caramel, can make a reasonable tart shell, and have learned to make Italian buttercream, to pick out some highlights. I have also met many other fabulous TWD members, and look forward to visiting them on Tuesdays.

My pick from
Baking - From My Home to Yours is the Fold-Over Pear Torte. There is no photo of it in the book, so I was intrigued as to how it would turn out. From Googling similar recipes, I believe it is supposed to look like a tall galette - you can see a lovely example of one here. Unfortunately, mine was not so much like a galette as a very high-sided tart, because my filling baked up and over the folds of the pastry, hiding them from view. No matter - this torte tasted delicious, and I loved the combination of soft fruit and custard filling in the crisp, buttery tart shell. However, I thought the ratio of custard to fruit would be higher - and if I made it again, I think I would make it that way. Nevertheless, it was a delicious dessert, which for once I was able to take to dinner with friends.

As hostess with the mostess for this week, I get to type up the recipe, so without further ado, here it is:

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough
(Single crust, chilled)

1 1/2 cups all purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons/150g) very cold, unsalted butter,
cut into tablespoon size pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons very cold vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
(I just used an equivalent amount of butter, ~ 30g)
1/4 cup ice water

Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse to just combine the ingredients. Add the butter and shortening, and pulse until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overmix - Dorie says some pieces should be the size of green peas, others the size of barley. Pulsing the food processor on and off, gradually add 3 tablespoons of ice water to the dough. Continue to add the water, a little at a time, pulsing on and off, until the dough looks evenly moistened and forms soft curds, and the dough sticks together when pinched:

Scrape the dough onto a work surface, form it into a flat disc, wrap the disc in cling film, then chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before rolling:

Once the dough has chilled, roll it out between pieces of wax paper, cling film or a rolling slipcover into a 14 inch round (turn the dough an eighth of a turn each time you roll to get a round shape). Place the rolled dough, still in between the paper or cling film, onto a baking tray, and refrigerate for 20 minutes:

Generously butter an 8 inch round springform pan. Take the dough out of the fridge, remove the top piece of paper or film, and turn the round of dough, bare side down, into the springform pan. Remove the rest of the paper or film, then gently press the dough into the pan so that it is flat against the bottom. Next, press the sides of the dough up against the sides of the pan. Do this by turning the pan on its side and turn the pan as you press down the dough. (I didn't bother with that.) The dough will pleat and may even crack. This is OK - just press the cracks together (just look at all the patches in mine!):

Once your pan is lined with dough, cover it and put it back in the fridge to chill while you make the filling and preheat the oven. Line a baking sheet big enough to hold your springform pan with a piece of baking paper or a silicone mat.

Centre a rack in your oven and preheat it to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit/ gas mark 6.


1/3 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 large, ripe but firm pears
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup finely diced moist, plump dried apricots or moist, plump golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons (~25g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup heavy cream (I used light cooking cream)

confectioners (icing) sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Peel and core the pears, then cut them into 1/4 inch cubes. Put them in a medium bowl, and toss them with the lemon juice to prevent darkening. Stir in the zest, apricots (or raisins) and nuts:

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until they thicken (~ 3 minutes). Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the rum and extracts. Still with the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated. Last, add the melted butter, then the cream, mixing only until the batter is homogenous.

Remove the chilled dough in the pan from the fridge, and place it on the lined baking sheet. Spoon the fruit into the bottom of the pan, then pour over the batter, stopping when you have 1/2 to 1 inch of crust extending above the batter. (I recommend 1 inch, as half an inch didn't seem to be enough to contain the batter during cooking.) Don't overfill the crust - you may have some batter left over. Using your fingertips, gently push the dough down over the filling in a ruffle towards the centre of the torte. Don't push the dough into the batter:

There should be space between the filling and the crust, as the filling will rise to fill the gap.

Put the torte in the preheated oven, and lower the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit/ gas mark 4. Bake the torte for 60-70 minutes, or until the crust is browned and a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean. (Mine took substantially longer.) Check the torte after it has been baking for 40 minutes or so, and if the crust is getting too brown, cover the torte with a foil tent for the remainder of the baking time.

Remove the baked torte from the oven, and allow it to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Just before serving, run a knife around the outside of the torte to ensure it hasn't stuck to the pan, then remove the sides of the pan:

Dorie then says you can dust the torte with confectioner's sugar before slicing and serving - I didn't.

Here is a slice of the torte in all its glory:

You can see that the filling is mostly fruit with only a little custard (even though I used all the batter) - I would ideally like the proportions to be around half and half. Nevertheless, this was delicious, and my friends enjoyed it too - a crisp, buttery outer crust which contrasts with the soft, juicy filling.

To see how the other TWD members went with this recipe, visit the TWD blogroll. Thanks to everyone who baked along with me this week, and I hope you enjoyed the torte.


Katya said...

You got a much larger custard layer than I did--I made a little measuring error (full sized crust and pan, half recipe filling), and so it was sort of dry. Jealous of that creamy layer.

natalia said...

Oh my Cakelaw ! I didn't remember who chose the recipe and while making it I was thinking of who was the genius that had finally chosen it !! I really really loved it Thank you !!

The Blonde Duck said...

Hooray for it being your turn! I'm still amazed ya'll keep trying new things. Half of the creations you make would scare me to death!

Tammy said...

yay for your pick Gaye!! Mine looked nothing like a galette - more like a pie, but we loved it. Great choice!

Gloria Baker said...

Look absolutely nice Cake law! x gloria

Kayte said...

Great choice, a big hit here and will definitely make this one again. For once, mine looks like yours! It's always a crap shoot over here if mine is going to look like anyone else's if there is no photo in the book. Thanks for the pick.

Brenda said...

Awww you did an awesome job!!!!

Mary said...

Oops--mine doesn't look like yours! It was still good, though. Thanks for hosting this week, and I love the step-by-step photos you've got.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting! Great choice. People enjoyed it!

Jencrafted said...

Wow, that is one scrumptious looking torte! This is a good pick; not just an ordinary tart - I love the combination of tart crust, fruit filling and custard. I don't have pears but tons of apples so I might make an apple torte instead. Thanks for sharing!

Pamela said...

Looks lovely! Sorry, but I was unable to get to this one. It looks like such a tasty choice.

lola said...

A mystery torte. I just couldn't visualize this, but mine looks somewhat like yours - so...I guess that I am okay. I agree that I would like more custard to fruit. I was pleasantly surprised how nice the crust baked. Thanks for your selection.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great selection this week! It was fun to bake along with you! Mine was kind of like a deep dish pie and I didn't have a lot of crust to fold over the top. I was happy that there wasn't a lot of custard - it was just the right amount for me.

Amber Marie said...

This looks great! I love the tallness. Thanks for a wonderful pick!

Valerie Gamine said...

This one was a complete mystery to me up until the very end, but I loved it! Thanks so much for selecting this very autumn(y) dessert.
Your looks delicious, what a rich golden colour!

Judy said...

This was certainly an interesting choice. I wonder what the torte is really supposed to look like? I love pears, and I loved this torte, even though it was a bit challenging to make. Thanks!

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

Thanks for hosting. This is one good looking dessert, despite what we think, it could look like. I think, your is delectable looking.

Hindy said...

I agree it would be nice to have more custard. Your torte looks delicious. Congrats on two years and thanks for choosing this recipe!

Flourchild said...

You are the hostess with the mostess !! Thanks for a great selection! Yours turned out looking so good!!

giz said...

I like that you used the "good with anything pie pastry" - it's not too sweet and great to work with. I used the sweet pastry dough and found it just too rich and sweet. This is so on my list for this week.

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Thanks for this pick! :) It was lovely!

The Blonde Duck said...

I wish you would come for Halloween! It'd be such fun!

Leslie said...

Mine doesn't look anywhere near as yummy as yours does! I'm so glad you picked this one...it was easy and delicious.

Tia said...

howd you get it to look sooo good ? :)

mike said...

A big thank you for choosing such a bizarre but wonderful recipe! I loved it - it is SO unique! And delicious! Congrats on the anniversary and the accomplishments - you deserve it!!!

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

Hooray for finally being able to choose the recipe, and you've picked a goodie! Love the goopy insides with the fruit - I think that ratio is just right for me :)

Mary said...

Thank you for hosting and picking such a wonderful fall recipe. We really enjoyed it and it was something I never would have tried without twd influence!

AmyRuth said...

Oh the excitement of being the "hostess with the mostess!" So glad you finally have your turn to share and visit blogs and make friends, not to mention share a great dessert. I haven't made mine yet....... but(off to the kitchen) I am looking forward to it very soon. Thank you for a great pick!

Deeba PAB said...

Clapping hand for you too. Love the idea of a fold over gallete like tart. Great pick for TWD. I'm bookmarking this one!!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Hooray for finally being your time to pick :) It looks like you picked a great recipe too...yum!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I saw this on Tammy's site and I thought it was such a great idea! The generous amount of fruit is such a bonus!

margot said...

Your torte turned out wonderful. I know it's not fall where you are, but it really is a perfect fall dessert. I have to say, this is one of those recipes that I never would have glanced at if it weren't for our fabulous baking group and ended up liking it a lot.

Unknown said...

Yay! Go You :D. I love it when its my turn!
The tortes are such a great way of using up seasonal fruits.
*kisses* HH

Johanna GGG said...

it must have been exciting to choose a recipe - and I can see why you chose this one - I am not a huge fan of pears in pies but this one with apricot and walnuts makes me quite eager to try it

dorie said...

Bubbled over or not, I think your torte looks lovely and very, very inviting. I'd dig into it in a flash if I were anywhere near it.

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

this looks so pretty:) you did an amaizing job. thank you for sharing.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i have to say that i didn't know how this would turn out either, but i like that kind of surprise...especially when it's this delicious! thanks for the pick!

Joyti said...

Congratulations on being picked to pick a recipe!
I really like the recipe you picked...I love this type of undecorative cake, they usually taste the best and are so comforting. And the pears are so perfectly seasonal.

Marthe said...

What a great pick!! Your torte looks absolutely amazing!

Jules Someone said...

Looks fabulous! I was on vacation this week and didn't bake along. Looks like I'll have to try it on my own!

TeaLady said...

No matter what your torte does look tasty. It was a GREAT pic and fun with no pic to follow.

Brittany said...


This is a good-looking torte! Thanks for sharing the pear love! If you ever need recipe ins-pear-ation, check out our website at www.usapears.org.

Happy baking!
Your friends at USA Pears

Welcome to our crazy blessed life said...

Thanks for the fun pick! I loved this!http://ourcrazyblessedlife.blogspot.com/2010/10/ffwd-and-twd-hachis-parmeter-and-mother.html

titanium jewelry said...

It's always a crap shoot over here if mine is going to look like anyone else's if there is no photo in the book. Thanks for the pick.