A year ago I bought myself Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts book, and have loved baking everything possible. I’ve kind of fallen off baking quite as much, because Nic and I have no willpower when it comes to baked goods. If it’s there, we’ll eat it all. Right away. Oops.
A lot of people get initimidated making pastry, and it does take practice, but this pear tart is incredibly easy: you’re not even making traditional pastry, so it’s a lot less finicky.
2 ounces cream cheese (about 1/2 cup)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (about 1/4 cup, if you only have salted butter, don’t add the salt later)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and any necessary for dusting
1/2 cup white sugar, and any for dusting
1/8 teaspoon salt (unless you used salted butter)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy (Martha suggests pear brandy, I used regular, and I’ve also used amaretto in the past which was delicious)
1 ripe, firm pear
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 400*F.
2. Combine cream cheese and butter in a food processor, stand mixer, or in a bowl to use with a hand mixer.
3. Add the flour, 1/4 cup the sugar, salt, and process until combined. Dough will stay sticky, so don’t be worried.
4. Line a rimmed baking sheet, pie, or tart plate with parchment paper. Put some flour on your fingers and pat the dough in, it will be pretty sticky and messy.
5. Halve pear lengthwise, core, and cut into thin slices. Keep the skin on.
6. In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and brandy.
7. Soak the pear slices in the mixture. When you’re plating it, shake the excess liquid off.
8. Arrange the pear slices around the outer edge in whichever pattern you like, and then add another layer until you’ve placed all pear slices.
9. Sprinkle tart with 1 tablespoon white sugar and the cinnamon.
10. Bake until golden, 25-30 minutes, making sure you rotate it halfway through to get an even bake.
Yes, this pear tart is as delicious as it looks. We did finish it in one go. Oops.
You can enjoy it warm or at room temperature.