PEAR (OR PEACH) CREAM TART
from John Rudy
This recipe (with slight modifications) is from page 188 of the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts, a marvelous book with easy-to-understand instructions and wonderful pictures. This recipe is for a 10” pie pan. For a 12” pan, increase everything by 50%. I feel that the crust is a bit thick, so that can be decreased some, which, of course, makes room for more of the filling. The 10” pie serves 8. It is really easy–and fast–to make.
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ cup plus 3 Tbs Sugar
1 cup Whipping or Heavy Cream
2 large Egg yolks
1¼ cups All purpose Flour (not sifted)
¼ tsp Salt
¾ stick Butter (softened)
2 29oz cans Sliced pears (or peaches). It really needs a can plus about 2-3 more halves. With peaches, I use 2½ of the small cans.
10” pie pan
Pre-heat the oven to 400°.
- In medium bowl, with fork, mix the flour, salt, 3 Tbs sugar and then cut in the butter (I use two knives) until it resembles course crumbs.
- Optionally spray the pan with some Pam
- By hand, press the flour mixture into the glass pie plate, on the bottom and up the sides. Bring it to at least ¼” of the top as the pie will get that high. Take care that the bottom of the sides is not too thick as you won’t have enough flour mixture for the bottom of the pan.
- Mix the cinnamon and ½ cup of the sugar (not the last 3 Tbs)
- Separately, beat the cream with the egg yolks
- If you have pear halves take the drained AND DRIED slices and cover the bottom of the pan. Sometimes the slices have to be cut to fit properly. Do it in concentric circles. Evenly cover them with the cinnamon-sugar combination. If it is not even, a portion of the sugar will glaze but the rest will need more time! With sliced peaches it will take two circles. NOTE: Don’t fill in all the spaces with fruit or the custard will not all fit in.
- Bake for 7+ minutes (it might take a few minutes more) until the cinnamon-sugar mixture is caramelized.
- Pour the cream mixture over the pears and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or mostly so). A 9” pan takes about 22 mins; a 10” pan about 27 mins. NOTE: do not overcook
- Cool the tart over a wire rack ~2 hours and then refrigerate if not using immediately. Don’t cover with wrap until it is totally cooled (another 2 hours).
John says that it was his mother who inspired his love of cooking and baking at an early age. (She cooked vegetables in boil-able packages.)