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Monday, October 17, 2011

Pear Maple Custard Tart

This year for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, I was presented with somewhat of a challenge when invited to a potluck. Traditions want that desserts include pumpkin pie and/or apple pie. After being told that someone was already making pumpkin pies, I was told to think of something different that could embody familiar flavors that represent the warm colors of fall.  The idea maple and crumble immediately came to mind and I went from there. The juiciness of the pears inside this tart blends nicely with the warm maple flavors of the crumble. Here's  the basic filling recipes. 

Pear Maple Custard Tart
- 1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust
- 1 - 15oz can, pear halves in syrup 
- 1 - 14oz can of condensed milk
- 2 Tsp maple extract
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 Cup melted butter
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander 
- 1/3 Cup Maple sugar 
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/4 Cup cold butter

1. Have your tart shell ready or make your own recipe for pie dough, enough for a 9 inch tart bottom.  Take each pear and slice to fan out around the bottom of the tart shell (Demonstrated below in the picture with an individual tart I had made). 
2. In your stand mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, pour in the condensed milk the maple extract and the eggs. Whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes, for the mix to become somewhat foamy. 
3. At this point, add your eggs, one at a time and whisk on medium-low till combined. Add the cinnamon and coriander and whisk again till just combined. Pour enough of the custard mixture into the tart shell to just cover the pears, it should come up to 3/4 of the height of the tart. Do not over fill because it may overflow in the oven. Place in preheated 450F oven for 8-10 minutes to set the custard. 

4. During this time, make your crumble. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, flour and cut in the butter with a pastry blender or simply by breaking it all apart with your fingers, to form pea sized pieces of crumble. 
5. As soon as you take out the tart from the initial baking, reduce oven temp to 350F. Sprinkle the tart with the crumble and put back in the 350F to continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the tart comes out clean. 

This tart proved to have its level of difficulties but was well worth it in the end. The aromas in the house were amazing and the smooth taste of the tart even better! Nothing better to warm you up on a cold fall evening with a warm cup of tea! Hope you enjoy!


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