01 December 2009

TWD: Rosy Poached Pear and Pistachio Tarts; in which our heroine makes up for her tardiness by providing lots of photos.

OK, so I lied.  I can't be that slack.  The Tuesdays with Dorie assignment (selected by Lauren at I'll Eat You) this week is a tart with pistachio pastry cream and wine-poached pears.  I LOVE pears and I LOVE pistachios, (and wine is cool, too) so I couldn't resist trying this one out. In order not to feel like a little piggy, I made minitarts.

still life with excessive turnovers

I love recipes that can be made bit by fiddly bit and stored away for later.   First I poached the pears in shiraz, sugar, orange peel and lemon peel while watching a basketball game.

 Doesn't this look so Capable Homemaker-y?

I used Bosc pears, and I had to simmer mine for about 50 minutes for them to get to what I would call "tender".

 Hello fall!

They were so pretty and red!  Very festive.

Once they were done and cooling, I whipped up the pastry cream.


Annoying:  I had the worst time finding unshelled pistachios in this town.  And the ones I finally found were salted.  Bleah! I only have a little "chopper" thingie, not a real processor (um HI SANTA!), so my pistachios were not as fine as I might have liked.  I also forgot and blitzed all of the sugar with the nuts, not half.


Oops.  It all came out fine, though it was very thick.  I also forgot to whisk in the butter.  That's what happens when you're doing cheers and baking at the same time, my friends.

Pears and pastry cream were refrigerated overnight.

Next day, I made the tart dough, and decided at the last minute to use mini pans instead of the big pan.  I usually make Dorie's tart shell dough with nuts, but I tried the regular sweet tart dough today.  It was a little easier to work with than the nut dough. 

I baked the shells for about 22 minutes.  At 15 minutes they had puffed up, despite having been in the freezer over an hour prior.

 these are SO yummy.
I tried to press them down some with a fork.  Good thing they will be filled!

I also made caramel-coated pistachios.

 This took about 15 minutes to do.  Three ingredients.  New party snack!

Yum!  I might just start making these on GP.

Finally--Tuesday.  I put it all together and made a sauce from the poaching liquid.  My pastry cream was super thick, so I had to add a little sour cream, as instructed, to thin it out a bit.  It was still pretty sturdy, probably from the lack of butter.

filled tarts

poached pears

much fiddliness later -- but still not finished!

Verdict:  I'm a little disappointed.  It's pleasant.  But a little too much work (and too much money) for what you get.  I ended up only using 1/2 the pears I poached, and I won't need nearly the amount of sauce I have.  The pastry cream is surprisingly blah.  I definitely agree that the caramel pistachios are non-negotiable and I do think the sauce helps too.  The components themselves are nice but together they aren't giving me much.  I had planned to bring this to a dinner party this weekend, but...yeah, I don't think I'll be making this again.  I don't even think I'll eat them all.  Oh well! 

Next week:  we're back to cookies.  Those shall be on time, as they are a kind of cookie I love.


Romaine said...

I'm with you on your final assessment of this dessert. We decided it wasn't worth the calories and out it went. But it was fun to make and your look great. I plan to do a post about cream pies made in the microwave. Stay tuned.

miss kate said...

"wasn't worth the calories" is about how I feel, too! Bummer. I am sitting here now contemplating just eating the leftover pears with some yogurt.

Maura said...

oh durn. I was so excited reading about it until I got to the verdict. :) I haven't made tartlets of any kind in so long and they looked so pretty!

miss kate said...

Maura: To be fair, I do think my pears weren't quite ripe enough to be really good yet, so that might have affected the outcome. Most of the TWD bloggers who made the tart seemed to love it--so if you can get good yummy pears to poach and pistachios and good wine at a reasonable price, it might be worth a try! :-)


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