Last summer my husband Brice and I went on an awesome two-week trip to Europe. As a present, Brice had planned a day in Paris for me – an all-day cooking class that included a trip to the local markets, cooking throughout the afternoon, and a 5-course meal. It was one of the most fantastic, fun days I have ever had. Chef Samira, of Food Unites the World, hosted us in her gorgeous apartment near the Arc de Triomphe, where she taught me so many great cooking tips and helped us cook SO much good food!
Visiting the produce market and the fish market
Once we got back home to the US, we had my parents over for dinner so I could try out the dessert from our cooking class – a delicious pear tart. It was just as wonderful, beautiful and impressive looking. So now it is my go-to recipe for dinner parties and any other entertaining!
Making Pear Tart at our French cooking class
Yesterday my friend hosted a baby shower, and I offered to make some desserts for the party – I of course went with my trusty French Pear Tart. It is beautiful and elegant, but not pretentious. Delicious but not overwhelmingly sweet. And even better, it is surprisingly easy to make. As it always gets tons of compliments and people always go back for seconds, this is definitely worthy of a special occasion.
Here is the recipe from Chef Samira Hradsky:
French Pear Tart
Active Time: 40 minutes; Total Time: 2 hours
Pie Crust: this is the best pie crust, I use this recipe for everything now and super easy to make if you have a food processor. Also, if you are making a savory dish like a quiche, just leave out the sugar.
- 1.5C all-purpose flour
- 1/4t salt
- 2T sugar
- 6T unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1-2T cold water
1. Combine all ingredients except water in a food processor, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add one tablespoon water and continue processing until dough forms into a ball. If dough is too dry and not forming into a ball, add another tablespoon of water.
2. Remove dough from processor, place on a well-floured surface and roll dough into a 1/8-inch thick 11-inch circle. Place into a 9-inch tart pan, trim edges, pierce dough with a fork several times and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
You can even make a fun little design
3. Remove tart shell from freezer and bake for 20 minutes. (You don’t need to place beans or pie weights on top.)
As the crust is baking, prepare the filling:
- 3/4C sugar
- 6T all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/2C butter
- 3 Bartlett pears – peeled, cored and halved lengthwise (pick slightly unripe pears)
- Sliced almonds (optional)
- Powered sugar (optional)
1. Combine sugar, flour and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over high heat until foamy and golden brown. Slowly whisk melted butter into sugar mixture. Set aside.
3. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Cut pears crosswise into slices about 1/8-inch thick. Gently open slices into a fan shape. Arrange pears into crust in a flower pattern.
4. Pour melted butter mixture over pears. Sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired (if you’re not allergic, you will want these). Bake until crust and filling are brown, about 50 minutes.
5. Sprinkle tart with powdered sugar before serving if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with homemade whipped cream 🙂