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Pear-Custard Tart

To prepare neat pear slices for a tart, halve the pear lengthwise and cut away the stem. Using a melon baller, scoop out and discard the core. Finally, peel the pear halves and cut lengthwise into thin slices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tart dough disk (see related recipe at left), at cool room temperature
  • 4 pears, such as Bartlett, Anjou or Bosc, peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Partially bake the tart shell
Preheat an oven to 425°F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough disk into a 10 1/2-inch round. Gently transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold the overhang back over itself and press it into the sides of the pan to make a sturdy rim. Freeze for 5 minutes.

Bake the tart shell until very lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Make the filling
Arrange the pear slices in the partially baked tart shell. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until thick and pale in color. Beat in the sugar. Add the butter, cream, lemon zest, flour and vanilla and beat well. Pour the mixture evenly over the pears.

Bake the tart
Bake the tart for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and bake until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly, then remove the pan rim. Cut the tart into wedges and serve. Makes one 9 1/2-inch tart.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).