Ok, this is not strictly a wine post. To be honest, it’s not a wine post at all. My parents’ dear friend who is a travel journalist is in Utah to write on skiing in the area. Unfortunately, this year, the “Greatest Snow on Earth” is inexplicably missing. The resorts are taking a hit since, simply put, the skiing this year sucks.
So after two days of what must have been grueling attempts at trying the few pistes that are open, he instead opted for a visit with my parents who live a short ways from the slopes. I had raided the local Whole Foods, which is one of my favorite grocery stores, so luckily there were things at home to play with. A free-range organic chicken got rubbed down with garlic, olive oil and rosemary, and stuffed with lemon. While it roasted in the oven at low temperature with an assortment of fresh veggies and beans, I tried to figure out a good desert.
I remembered a beautiful recipe from Roost on a chai-spiced almond pear tart and decided to make my own version. The result was delicious. At the request of said journalist, I have written it down (or, as close to what I did as I can remember), and might as well publish it to share with the rest of you as well. Definitely warm, inviting and decadent.
6 individual Spicy Pear Tartes
4 anjou (or other) pears, peeled
Place in pot with 1 l water, 2 dl dark sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, dash ground cloves
Simmer until pears are soft, approximately 30 minutes. Remove pears. Add 1 dl of sugar and boil until reduced to a caramel sauce.
2 dl almond flour
1 dl muscovado (or dark) sugar
2 dl flour
pinch salt flakes
Cinnamon, dry ginger and dash of cloves (to taste)
ca 100 g (one stick) melted butter
2 tbsp water
Mix dry ingredients, mix in liquids until paste forms. Make into pies, and bake in oven at 200 C for 15 min until golden edged.
1 dl brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 dl whole milk
2 slightly beaten egg yolks
1 dl creme fraiche or sour cream
In saucepan over medium heat combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in milk so no lumps form. Cook and whisk until mixture thickens and boils; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir a little hot mixture into egg yolks; return to hot mixture. Cook and stir until mixture just boils. Cool. Fold in creme fraiche.
Fill the still-warm crusts with the custard, layer slices of the soft pears on top, and top up with a bit of the syrupy reduction from the boiled pears. Serve immediately. The tarte should be luke-warm, sweet and comforting. Sorry I forgot to take a picture, but they were so good we finished them in seconds.
For a moment there, I didn’t even mind the lack of snow.