Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pre"pear" to be amazed...

I certainly was! Not only with my lame pun, but with the dessert I concocted purely from my own devices. Now I'm not saying no one has ever created this flavor combo before or even this exact tart, but I truly came up with this on a whim by looking at what was left in my fridge.
I'm always super-impressed when someone comes up with a baked good all on their own. I have no trouble coming up with savory dishes or combining different flavors when it comes to real food, but with desserts and baking I need a recipe.
Sure I can make small additions or substitutions to it, but I need a recipe as a base. Baking is just different. It requires much more precision than cooking. Too much flour and it's tough. Not enough sugar and it's bland. Too much baking soda and you get an explosion. When it comes to baking, for the most part, you have to be pretty rigid with the measurements. But - I found a loophole!! Tarts.
I used your basic graham cracker crust recipe for the shell and filled it with a mixture of pumpkin puree, cream cheese, spices, and fresh fruit. Voila! Pumpkin Pear Tart.
Don't worry though, I won't let this creation go to my head. But I did have a moment of Betty Crocker-like glory there that I just had to share.

Pumpkin Pear Tart
1 1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pumpkin butter
1 8oz package of light cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 pears, skin removed and sliced thin
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 tablespoon hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar until combined. Press the mixture into your tart pan in an even layer. If you have enough to go up the sides great, if not then you can double the measurements to make more crust mixture. Once the crumbs are pressed into the pan evenly place it in your preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes then remove and let cool.
Turn oven to 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, combine your pumpkin puree, pumpkin butter, cream cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, your cloves and the pumpkin pie spice in a mixer and beat until combined.
Pour the filling mixture into your cooled graham cracker crust.
Next, layer on your sliced pears in any pattern you like. I chose spiral, as you can see. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Finally add the hot water to your apricot preserves and stir to form a glaze. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of your tart with the thinned out preserves. As the tart bakes, this will form a shiny glaze on your pears.
Place the tart in your oven and cook for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on how quickly the pears seem to be cooking.
Remove, let cool and serve.


Mandy said...

You are one brave chica! Like you, I can make it up as I go with savory items...but baking! I'm impressed. This looks wonderful! I've never seen pumpkin butter before, will have to look for that at my grocery store.

Anonymous said...

WOW! That really DOES look absolutely amazing!

Cate said...

It's beautiful! I totally want to try it!

That Girl said...

I want to make something very similar, but with apples...we only got 3 pears at the farm!

Stephanie said...

Great job! What a gorgeous and flavorful creation!

Prudy said...

That's gorgeous,absolutely gorgeous!