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Monday, October 19, 2015

Pear and Cocoa Bean Tart

It is pear season here in France, and although pears are not the fruit I go crazy nuts for, they can be quite sexy when paired with the right ingredients and served in the right crust.
Pears, Chocolate, and Ginger.. oh yes.. NOW we're talking!
I wanted to make something French for my American visitors.. which is quite hard because I mostly get off on making pumpkin pie, cookies, and burfi.. things all very familiar to my VIP guests.  While trying to come up with something not so out of the box, but something I had never thought to make, my trip to the market and the myriad varieties of pears on the stalls had me flowing with ideas.  In France, pears and chocolate are a typical dessert.  Usually the pear is poached and then dipped in a chocolate syrup.. or served with ice cream, chocolate, and whipped cream.  I'm pretty sure a chocolate & pear pie is a thing, too.. but I'm CERTAIN that they never put cinnamon or ginger in their desserts.
Which is why I was so happy to do it.. and why this dessert came out so classy!
Serves 8
100g (3.5oz) room temperature butter, cubed
130g (4.6oz) flour
100g (3.5oz) buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Pinch salt
3 Tbsp cane sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 egg yolk
5 cL water
Use the method, then pre-bake at 190°C 375°F for 10 minutes

4 small pears, peeled, cored, and sliced crosswise (I used the Louise-Bonne variety)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 packet vanilla sugar (or 1/2 tsp extract)
1 Tbsp cane sugar
15g (0.5oz) Crushed cocoa beans
40g (1.5oz) Dark chocolate shavings

1.  Beat the egg and extra yolk together in a mixing bowl until frothy, then beat in the cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sugar.
2.  Sprinkle 3/4 of the chocolate beans and shavings at the bottom of the pre-cooked shortcrust, then lay the pear slices, pressing them down diagonally onto the shavings.
3.  Pour the egg and cream mixture over the pear slices and sprinkle with the rest of the chocolate.
4.  Bake at 190° for 40 minutes or until golden.
5.  Let come to room temperature before serving (refrigerate for at least 1 hour).

This is probably the prettiest dessert I've every made.  I love the architecture of the slanted slices topped with dark chocolate.  It's also quite tasty and not too sweet, which is perfect for me.
The cocoa beans played a nice role presenting their deep roasted flavor that paired well with the pears and filling.  I've made this twice for completely different populations and I will be making it again with different fruit.. as long as I keep it pretty!

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