What's better for a fall dessert than a pear tart? Here's a pear tart whose crust is flavored with toasty pecans and butter, the pear filling has the additional flavor of a vanilla bean, and it's topped with a whipped cream flavored with honey and toasted pecans.
PEAR TART WITH PECAN CRUST
Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
Makes one 11 1/2 " tart
1 1/2 cups pecans(6 ounces)
14 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 tablespoons ice water
8 firm ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
3/4 cup pecans
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons honey
1. Make the tart: In a food processor, pulse the pecans with 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar until finely ground. Add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse just until the dough is the size of small peas. Add the ice water and pulse just until evenly moistened. Transfer the dough to a work surface and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 16-inch round about 1/4-inch thick. Fit the dough into a 11 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and trip the overhang. Pat the scraps into a disk and roll out to a 12-inch round. Cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips. Transfer the strips to a baking sheet. Refrigerate the dough strips and tart shell until chilled, about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Far. In a medium bowl, toss the pears with the light brown sugar, lemon juice, vanilla seeds, and the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
4. Set the tart shell on a large rimmed baking sheet. Scrape the filling into the shell. Lay 5 evenly spaced strips of dough over the tart; lay the remaining 5 strips of dough perpendicularly to the others to form a crosshatch pattern. Trim the strips as necessary and press the ends against the tart rim to adhere. Bake the tart for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer to a rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream: Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast in the oven for about 6 minutes, until fragrant. Let the nuts cool, then coursely chop them. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream with the honey. Fold in the chopped pecans.
6. Remove the tart from the pan and transfer to a platter. Cut into wedges and serve each with a dollop of the honey-pecan whipped cream.
*Note-I didn't have a tart pan as large as called for. I used a 10" tart pan, but I didn't cut down on the filling. If you are using a 10" pan, I would suggest using a little less filling.