I have to admit that at first I questioned the roasting time of the pears. I thought it seemed too long, but I was a good girl and followed the instructions. I was so wrong! There are many subtle layers of flavor built into this tart, and the roasting of the pears is right where they begin. Add to that the whole vanilla bean, the slightly toasted ingredients in the crust, and the deeply browned butter in the filling—the marriage of them all is so much more than the simple sum of the parts. The house smelled fantastic for a good 24 hours as well! Thank you, MHardison79 for a beautiful creation! - boulangere —boulangere
1 1/2 pounds
slightly under-ripe Bosc pears (or pear of your choosing)
unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the sugar in a small bowl. With a paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds into the sugar.
Peel, half, and core pears. Place cut side up in a baking dish. Drizzle fruit with lemon juice, then sprinkle your vanilla-sugar mixture evenly over the fruit. Dot each fruit with pieces of butter. Pour water into pan (not over fruit).
Roast pears for 30 minutes, basting with pan juices every 5 - 10 minutes. Flip pears, continue to roast and baste another 20 - 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with paring knife.
Once pears are cool enough to handle, lay cut side down, and slice lengthwise, thinly. Place pears back in baking dish to absorb any juices left behind.
Crust & Brown Butter Filling
Heat oven to 375°F. Place 1 1/2 cups flour in large bowl. Heat all remaining crust ingredients in large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until mixture begins to brown and give off nutty aroma, stirring occasionally. Pour over flour; stir until dough forms. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Press into bottom and up sides of 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom (hint: sometimes its best to pierce the bottom of the tart with a fork to prevent too large of puffing during baking). Bake 15 minutes, or until light brown and slightly puffed. Cool on wire rack.
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup butter in medium skillet over medium heat 7 minutes or until milk solids on bottom are chocolate brown. Pour into glass measuring cup. Cool 15 minutes or until warm but not hot.
Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, eggs and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl until combined. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour and seeds scraped from the vanilla bean. Gradually whisk in warmed brown butter until smooth.
Place tart pan on rimmed baking sheet. Arrange pears over crust; pour filling over fruit (filling will reach top of crust).
Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set in the middle. Cool on wire rack.