Apple & Pear Tart
I have finally been able to escape to my kitchen and do something just for myself. I waited until everyone was asleep, went into my kitchen and baked an apple and pear tart. There is something really special in being able to do things without anyone tugging on your pant, asking a million of ‘why’ and ‘how’s – just quietly doing things around your kitchen with your mind being occupied with nothing, but apples, pears, flour and sugar. I think one can appreciate moments like this only after or while having children of their own. Having children was the best thing I have done in my entire life, but to preserve the sanity of the entire household, mom needs some down time, time to herself. It’s what’s best for everyone ;). It makes me feel good that I do this not only for myself 😉
I’ve had a couple of apples and pears sitting in my fruit bowl for a couple of days and decided that they, the fruits would be very proud to be part of this beautiful tart :).
I think it came out pretty good and the next time I make this, I will make it into individual desserts, rather than one big tart. I like being able to steal a piece without ruining the look of the whole dish, actually, my husband probably would appreciate this idea better then anyone (haha).
On a totally unrelated note, I have been reading a lot on GMO’s and healthy eating. It really scares me that nowadays, GMO produce is so common that instead of just watching out to not to get them into your food cart, we really have to dig deep to find produce that’s not been genetically modified, we have to go to special stores, look for special labels, read the ingredient lists and even then you’re not sure if you’re getting the pure nature gifted fruit, but instead some kind of alien product that is only a lookalike to the real deal. I mean, we have already compromised on the taste of most fruits and vegetables, just for the convenience of going to a store and buying something that you did not have to labor in the garden for. Most of us that get our produce from a store on regular basis probably forget what a real strawberry tastes like, or a real tomato, or any other fruit for that matter. Our taste buds jump from joy, come June when we’re able to experience the true flavor of a real, locally grown strawberry and we realize that those rubbery things that almost bounce off the counter top don’t even come close to what a strawberry is supposed to taste like.
So what is the real answer? How are we to fight pesticides, GMO’s and other things that are put into our food? Is having your own garden the only way to truly know what you’re eating? What kinds of things do you guys do to eat better and stay away from the ‘over- chemicalized’ world? First we ran away from the simple ways of life, to find convenience, instant gratification, and now only some 80 or so years later, we find out that what we had before was real, and the convenience really does come at a big cost. You really can’t have it all I guess, no matter how much the American culture tries to convince us of it.
As someone once said, “Good cake is not cheap, cheap cake is not good” – I bet they were talking about more then just cakes.
Apple & Pear Tart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 stick (113 g) unsalted cold butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 small egg
To make the Crust:
- Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, powdered sugar, salt) in a large bowl.
- Slice the cold butter into to the flour. Keep cutting until the chunks are about the size of a pea.
- Add the egg and mix the ingredients together with a spoon.
- Use your hands to kneed the dough until it barely starts to come together. Push the dough into a ball (it will be very crumbly, but that’s ok). Cover with plastic wrap. Flatten to make a disk.
Refrigerate for about 1 hour. (Make the Compote during this time).
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator divide it in half. Shape 1 half into a ball and roll it out between 2 layers of parchment paper or saran wrap, to about 3-4 mm thick. Transfer into the 8 or 9 inch tart mold and pat it with your fingertips to fit it tightly inside the mold. Prick the dough with a fork.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and bake the tart for about 13 minutes.
Let cool on wire rack.
3 medium sized apples
2 medium sized pears
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup water
How to make Apple & Pear Compote
- Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds and sugar in a medium saucepan.
- Peel and core apples and pears. Dice them into small cubes. Add to the vanilla and sugar mixture along with water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer the fruits for about 45 minutes, until soft. Keep an eye on the apples, to make sure that they have enough liquid to cook and that the bottom does not scorch.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Peel and core 2 medium sized apples. Slice them thinly.
- Fill the tart shell with the prepared fruit compote.
- Arrange the apple slices on top in spiral, starting from the outside and working towards the center.
- Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar on top.
- Bake for additional 12 minutes, at 350F.
- Remove and let the tart cool.