I know, I know, today is Wednesday not Tuesday. What can I say? I've been on vacation for too long and did not quite get back into the groove on time!
Technically I did make the tart on Tuesday, but I finished too late to make a post. I have got to learn to manage my time better. Mind you, I've been saying that for nigh onto 35 years and so far I am still a horrible procrastinator - pretty good baker - but I'm always pushing my deadlines. I must be getting old - I used to push them but never miss them, now I wave at them as they pass by and just hope I won't be too late to be included in the fun!
How exciting for the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group. Dorie Greenspan, the author of "Baking From My Home To Yours" chose this week's recipe! You can find the recipe for this elegant dessert at her blog or on pages 368-369 of the the book.
Overall, I found this to be an extremely simple recipe to follow. I had a different idea of what the almond cream was going to be before I read the recipe so I was a bit surprised by its texture - especially after I chilled it for a couple of hours. It almost looked like marzipan after two hours in the fridge!
My only actual issue was with the crust. It never came together for me. It was too dry to clump properly. Essentially I ended up with sand that I then pressed into the tart pan. I think I might have compressed it a bit too thoroughly and perhaps piled it on a bit too thick, but my oh my, do I love me some crust! It tasted fantastic and baked up like a champ.
Well, speaking of baking, therein lies another habit I need to improve upon! I baked the tart for the shorter of the suggested time periods. I checked it a few times during baking, but did not check it in the last fifteen to twenty minutes. Consequently, the almond cream was a bit more brown (and therefore slightly drier) than I believe it should have been.
However, like the crust, the taste was sublime. I saved some and plan to give the crust another go this weekend. I will then use my remaining almond cream to make a mini-tart. I think I'll try mixing the crust by hand this time. I think that will give me more control.
I actually poached the ripe pears - at least most of them were ripe! I thought about poaching them in cranberry flavored water just to give the pears some color, but as always when I make a recipe for the first time, I ended up not tinkering with Dorie's suggested combination of flavors.
This is a delightful dessert, selected by a wonderful woman who not only took the time to choose a recipe for the anniversary of TWD, but also took the time to answer all of the questions our previous selectors would like to ask her. This was a great start to what will be another fabulous year of baking!