and a tea party for the birthday girl!
Chocolate Pear Tarts
makes 3 4″ tarts
adapted from indian simmer
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, very cold, cut into pieces
1/2 egg, cold, lightly beaten
1 pear, large (ripe and firm)
4 oz good semisweet chocolate
6 tbsp of heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 egg yolk
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
icing sugar (for sprinkling)
Mix together flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut butter into very small chunks and add it to the dry ingredients. Pulse in food processor till the butter and flour is mixed together. It should look crumbly. Add eggs and pulse again. A dough will form. Take it out and knead the dough for couple minutes until all the crumbs are nicely incorporated.
Press the dough lightly into the tart pan. The dough should cover all sides but not lose its crumbly texture. Do not overwork the dough or the butter will start to melt. Put tart pan in the freezer for 1/2 hour.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 deg. F.
Peel, core and cut the pear into quarters and cook it in a microwave until they are just about tender. Let it cool. Slice the pear horizontally in large cuts but keep the shape as quarters. In a double broiler melt the chocolate with cream. Whisk thoroughly so that it all incorporates well. Add sugar to the chocolate and mix it till the sugar dissolves well. Set it aside and let it cool.
Whisk egg and egg yolk in a mixer. Add vanilla beans or extract and mix it together.Once the chocolate and cream mixture is cool enough pour it into the egg with mixer on medium low to combine everything together.
Take out the tart pan from the freezer. Pour some custard to coat the bottom of the tart shells. Arrange the pears and pour the rest of the custard in being careful to not pour on top of the pear.
Place it into the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes. The chocolate custard should be puffed and set. It should be a little firm to touch and slightly cracked from the edges. Take it out and let it cool before serving!