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Author Notes: one of the local colleges offers non credit cooking classes.I took a pastry class with one of my girlfriends 6 years ago and this is one of the recipes we made. I fell in love with this recipe and make it every fall. Please dont let all the steps scare you from trying it. —skisch
Makes one 10-inch tart
- 4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 large firm-ripe pears, halved, peeled, cored, and reserved in a bowl of cold water acilduated with the juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
crust and custard
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons dark molasses
- raw rice for weighting the crust
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- In a sauce pan combine the cranberry juice, the sugar, the cinnamon stick, and the lemon juice, bring the mixture to a boil, and add the pears. Heat the mixture until it just comes to a simmer and simmer the pear gently 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are just tender. Remove the sauce pan form the heat, stir in the cranberries, and let the mixture cool. Chill the mixture, covered, for at least 8 hours. The pear mixture may be made 3 days in advnce and kept covered and chilled.
- In the food processor blend together well the flour, the brown sugar, the ginger, the cinnamon, the allspice, and the salt, add the butter, and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl stir together the egg yolk and the molasses, add the mixture to the flour mixture, and pulse the motor, blending the mixture until it is combined well but still crumbly. Turn the mixture out inta a 10-inch tart pan with a fluted removable rim and press it onto the bottom and up the side of the pan. Chill the crust for 30 minutes. Prick the crust with a fork, line it with foil, and fill the foil with the rice. Bake the crust in the lower third of a preheated 375°F. oven for 15 minutes, remove the foil and rice carefully, and bake the curst for 10 minutes more. Let the crust cool in the pan on a rack.
- Transfer the poached pears and half the cranberries with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, discard the cinnamon stick, and reserve the syrup with the remaining cranberries. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, the sugar, the sour cream, the milk, the vanilla, the zest, and a pinch of salt, stir in the drained cranberries, and spoon half of the custard into the crust. Slice 4 of the pear halves crosswise on the diagonal, arrange them decoratviely on the custard with the unsliced pear halves, and spoon the remaining custard around the pears. Bake the tart in the middle of a preheated 325°F. oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the custard is just set. Remove the rim of the pan and let the tart cool and a rack. The tart may be made up to this point 8 hours in advance, cooled completely, and chilled.
- In a saucepan boil the reserved syrup and cranberries over moderatley high heat until the syrup is reduced to about 1 cup and is jellylike in consistency and transfer the cranberries with a slotted spoon to a plate to cool. Brush the pears with some of the cranberry glaze and arrange the cranberries around the edge of the tart. Serve the tart warm or chilled.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert
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