FRENCH PEAR TART, & OTHER HAPPY MISTAKES

Earlier this fall, we bought a beautiful basket of tender, fragrant pears at the market and I needed to make something sweet for a dinner party. I loved the weird primordial vibe of this French Pear Tart at Tuesdays with Dorie, so weird primordial tart it was.

With the almond cream, pastry dough, poached pears, and jam glaze finish, it’s a bit labor intensive, but certainly worth it. Along the way I made one error — I used a tart pan about 40% bigger than what was recommended. But the error turned into a delicious surprise: the crumbly, sweet pastry dough and fluffy almond cream baked so thinly and for so long that the batter turned into a big slab of praline. Brittle. Or firm, chewy caramel. The result was not so much a tart, but a crunchy, sweet cookie topped with tender slices of pear.

But the greatest bonus of making this tart: we saved and bottled the poaching liquid from the pears — infused with citrus, cloves, cinnamon, and sugar — to make fizzy, aromatic bellinis for my guy’s birthday party.

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