If you live in the U.S. you are probably gearing up for the big feast this coming Thursday. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends, eat more than you should, and maybe watch some football. I don’t know about you, but I love all the traditional foods. There is nothing more satisfying than a beautiful roasted turkey filled with your favorite stuffing. Or a baking pan filled with sweet potatoes covered in bubbling, golden brown marshmallows. Yes, I like those marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes! Maybe you prefer the green bean casserole that your favorite aunt brings every year. You know the one – french style green beans, canned mushroom soup, blended together and covered in those crunchy french fried onions. Yep, that brings back memories.
While I crave those classic Thanksgiving dishes, I also like to switch up a couple of items too. That’s when I think of desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin pie and I know that it will be part of the menu this year. But how about something that is a bit lighter? Maybe not in calories, but lighter in taste. I started thinking about fruits that are typically in season now. Pears came to mind and I decided on a tart made with a classic pate sucre and luscious fruit with a hint of cinnamon and ginger. Oh, and if you can’t decide between the pumpkin or the pear? Just have a “small” slice of each!
Tart Crust – Pate Sucre
- 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 or 2 tablespoons heavy cream
In a food processor, combine flour and sugar. Add chilled butter and pulse until the flour resembles corn meal. In a small bowl whisk the egg yolks and add one tablespoon of heavy cream. Add to flour and butter mixture. Pulse until it forms a ball. You may need to add an additional tablespoon of cream. Note: I had to add a bit more to hold the dough together. Much depends on the humidity, temperature, and the like in your kitchen. Add small increments of cream until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and form together in a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- 4 large ripe Bartlett pears, pealed, cored, and sliced in thin wedges
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending on sweetness of the pears
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Mix all of ingredients in a bowl. Set aside while you roll out the tart dough.
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 10″ tart pan with butter or cooking spray. Roll out dough and place in the pan. Add the pear mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes until crust is golden brown. You may want to put a cookie sheet on the rack under the tart pan in case it drips. Cool on a rack. Dust lightly with powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature.