Poached Pear Tart


Canola oil spray
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1 large egg yolk mixed with 4 tablespoons ice water

6 cups water
2 cups semi-dry white wine, such as Riesling
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
4 Bosc pears, peeled, quartered and cored

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Pinch salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 11-inch removable-bottom tart pan.

Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse until size of small peas. Add egg yolk mixture and pulse until dough is crumbly.

Place dough into prepared tart pan and press to form an even crust. Bake crust in lower third of oven for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Lower oven temperature to 350°F.

Combine water, wine, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean and seeds in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes, then add pears. Cover with a large sheet of parchment paper and a lid slightly smaller than saucepan. Cook over moderate heat 20–30 minutes, until pears are just softened.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool slightly. Cut each wedge in half lengthwise.

Reduce remaining poaching liquid until syrupy.

Heat butter in a small skillet over moderate heat about 4 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Pour browned butter into a small cup.

Beat eggs in stand mixer with sugar, vanilla seeds, orange zest and salt. Add flour and beat at low speed until smooth. Add brown butter and beat at low speed until incorporated.

Pour filling into baked crust. Arrange all but 3 of the pear wedges on custard in a slightly overlapping circle, with narrow ends pointing toward center. Trim remaining 3 pear wedges and arrange them neatly in center.

Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until custard is golden and set.

Let tart cool completely before serving. Slice and serve drizzled with reduced poaching liquid.