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A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

GCC #22 Pear, Mascarpone, & Hazelnut Tart

Oh how could you not want to make this recipe, our dessert recipe this week for Gutsy Cooks Club; Pear, Mascarpone & Hazelnut Tart, even if you are a non-baker like myself. A former teaching colleague of G's had invited us to their home in Edmonds for dinner. They are always so generous inviting us to watch the fireworks or boat parade from their Tacoma waterfront condo that I wanted to bring this beautiful tart to them. Of course this was being optimistic that it would turn out like the Illustrated Kitchen Bible Cookbook's photo.

First we made a trip to Trader Joes to pick up a few needed ingredients: Mascarpone cheese, apricot preserves and pears. Although the recipe calls for canned pears I was determined to use fresh but finding a few ripe pears today was a challenge so I bought both in hopes to do a combo of some sort. We had hazelnuts from last week's crepes condiments.

We stopped by a local wine shop, The Wine Bank, in University Place to pick up some wine to take to dinner. The friend hosting us loves Chardonnay so we picked up my favorite Chardonnay by Mercer to bring with us.

I came home & got started with the pastry dough. Not as intimidated as the last time I was happy to see the recipe utilized the food processor and I was even happier when the dough came out just great.

 I chilled the dough first before rolling it out and placing it in in the tart pan.

I blind baked the tart shell first, G had to run up to the store and buy some beans for me though as obviously not being a baker just having some beans in the pantry for this purpose wasn't the case for us.

After finishing the tart shell off I mixed the amazing custard made of mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla. G stuck one finger in this goodness and couldn't stop. He actually ended up licking the bowl clean I think.
Having some fun with my non-photographer like camera

I'm not sure why but this has always been my favorite picture in our kitchen

I then poured the custard in the shell, sliced the pears, both the canned and not quite ripe fresh versions and placed them on top of the custard. And sprinkled the hazelnuts on top before baking.

It came out of the oven looking pretty good, I was expecting more golden brown crust and custard but after spreading on the apricot preserves and another sprinkling of hazelnuts I thought it  looked better than most of my final desserts do at least.

 We made the long trek up to Edmonds and were happy to greet our friends with this nice little treat from our kitchen when we arrived. We enjoyed a great evening. Buffy started us off with some wonderful steamed clams and then a fantastic meal of steak, roasted potatoes and green beans.

When we finally dug into the dessert we were all quite pleased at how lovely it tasted, light, creamy custard was wonderful. Next time I would just stick with canned pears only and skip the under ripe ones. The sweetness of the canned pears really was the right flavor. G said he liked having the crispness for contrast. But that may have been a sweet husband comment more than the truth.


  1. I just finished cutting into ours... Like you I bought fresh pears, but poached them first... Tom liked it ALOT, which is good, because he will be eating it pretty much all of it. (I don't like desserts with fruit).

    I'm gearing up now to do the Indian dish.

  2. Looks so good....off to look at the Biryani. I have to site a few weeks out...all this rich cooking and baking has created a small issue with my jeans! I will eat virtually thru u and Monica!

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