This Poached Pear Tart with Vanilla-Champagne Custard & Almond Flour Crust is super pretty and even more delicious! An almond shortcrust makes the base as sweet vanilla and champagne-kissed custard creates the filling. Then pears poached in a champagne+wine mixture are sliced and delicately placed over top. Toasted slivers of almond and a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar makes this a truly show stopping dessert.
Happy 2018! I hope you all had a lovely holiday season. Today marks my three years since launching the blog, a blogiversary as you will. Three years ago today I set out on my digital journey, documenting all the delicious silliness along the way. It’s been a wonderfully crazy and exciting three years and the best part has been being able to meet all you wonderful readers along the way. From your comments and likes to messages across social media, you’re involvement in all of this means the world to me. So cheers to us! Cheers to a new year and many more to come.
Poached Pear Tart with Vanilla-Champagne Custard & Almond Flour Crust
Original crust recipe from Jamie Oliver
Custard recipe adapted from the Food Network
Poached pear recipe adapted from Bon Appétit
1 ⅔ cups (200g) All-Purpose flour
⅓ cup + 3 tablespoons (50g) almond flour
1 cup (100g) confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of salt
Zest of one lemon
½ cup + 1 tablespoon (125g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks, beaten
1 splash of milk (roughly 2 teaspoons)
¾ cup sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoon champagne
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tablespoon cardamom pods
1-2 cinnamon sticks (optional)
1 cup spiced mulled wine (or dry red wine)
1 cup sparkling champagne
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 firm Bartlett, Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled leaving the stem intact, sliced in half.
CRUST. Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a large food processor, mix together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Add the cubed butter and pulse together until the mixture begins to resemble coarse crumbs. Add in the vanilla, eggs and splash of milk and continue pulsing until the dough begins to come together.
Transfer dough onto a lightly flour surface and knead until the dough forms together. Flatten into a disk, cover in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will allow the gluten in the dough to relax.
Roll the dough out the dough to a 13’ inch diameter. Roll the dough up over a rolling pin and gently place on top of the 9-inch tart pan. Gently press the dough into the pan, making sure that the bottom is even and flat. Take your rolling pin and gently roll over the top of the pan. Doing this will perfectly cut off the excess dough leaving you a perfectly level crust!
Use a fork to prick the bottom of the pan to prevent the dough from bubbling up and baking unevenly. Line the tart tin with baking parchment and fill with ceramic pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice. Bake tart for 10-15 minutes. Remove the weights from the tart and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer tart to a wire rack to cool completely before filling with custard.
CUSTARD. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well incorporated. Cook and stir mixture over medium-high heat until thickened and is able to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove pan from the heat and gently whisk in butter, champagne, and vanilla. Return pan to the heat and cool until custard is thick and almost pudding-like. Remove from the heat and allow custard to cool in the pan to room temp. Transfer custard to a bowl and gently press plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard. Refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight, preferably.
PEARS. In a medium saucepan, combine cardamom, cinnamon stick (if adding), wine, champagne, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
On a cutting board, peel the pears and slice each in half lengthwise (leaving you with four halved pears). Starting with one halved pear, make ¼-inch slices, making sure to cut all the way down, across the bottom part of the pear. You want to leave roughly a ¼-inch distance from where the stem begins to where you start cutting. Do this for each pear halve.
Add the pears into the poaching liquid and add enough water to completely submerge the pears. Bring mixture to a simmer, turning occasionally, until pears are tender but not mushy, about 25-30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a plate to cool. Wait until pears have cooled to room temperature before placing on the tart.
ASSEMBLY. Spoon roughly ¾ of the custard mixture into the cooled tart shell. The other ¼ you transfer to a small dish and save for later (tip: this custard is delicious topped with granola and blueberries for a morning on the go!). Top the custard with the cooled poached pears. Sprinkle toasted slivers of almonds around the perimeter of the tart. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.