Poached Pear and Custard Tart

Money money money money, MONEY.

I’m currently on a wordpress.com blog, which means that even though I own my domain my terms of service do not allow me to advertise. Those of you who don’t have ad blockers might be scratching your heads right now because you see an ad asking you how old you think Javier Bardem is. Those ads are not mine: wordpress is advertising on my blog.

I’ve considered monetizing my blog before, but given the cost of self hosting I’ve always decided against it. My trafiic is pretty low and I know I won’t make a profit. Now that I’ve realized wordpress is making money off of me I’m starting to reconsider. I’m not doing this to make a profit, but I don’t like that someone else is reaping the rewards of my work.

Have any of you made the switch to self hosting? I’d love to hear any tips or recommendations you might have. I’d also love to hear opinions on the different advertising networks out there. Is it worth putting myself on a waiting list for Blogher? Are there any other good networks out there?

None of this has anything to do with the recipe I’m sharing today. I made this tart for a dinner with some friends. She loves pears, he loves custard, and their son just loves desserts. This tart had their names all over it.  I really enjoyed the poached pears with the custard, poaching them with =cinnamon gave the tart an extra dimension of flavour.

I was a little worried that the crust would take longer to bake than the custard, but it worked out pretty well. I would have preferred that the crust be a little crisper, the texture I ended up with was almost cake like, probably because of the baking powder in the dough. Next time I think I’ll try with an unsweetened crust and blind bake it for a few minutes first.

Poached Pear and Custard Custart Tart

Pastry Dough

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk (if necessary)
  1. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Add the butter, then using your fingers rub the butter into the flour until there are just a few small pieces of butter left and the mixture holds together when squeezed. Add the egg, stirring in with a fork. Stir until the dough comes together, adding the milk if necessary.
  2. With your hands form a ball with the dough then flatten it into a disk. Cover in plastic wrap a refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Dough will keep for three days in the fridge or can be frozen in an airtight bag.
Poached Pears
  • 4 large pears, peeled, halved and cored (melon ballers work well for coring pears)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. Place the pears in medium pot. Cover with cold water, then add the sugar and cinnamon stick. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn off the heat and let pears cool completely in the poaching liquid.
Poached Pear and Custard Tart
  • Sweet pastry dough
  • Poached Pears
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Icing sugar to top tart
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F
  2. Roll out the pastry dough till it’s large enough to fill a 9 inch tart pan. Place the dough snugly in the pan, trim off the edges. Arranged the poached pears on the dough.
  3. In  medium bowl, whisk the flour sugar and eggs together. Stir in the vanilla. Add the milk mixing until well combined. Skim off any bubbles then pour around the pears.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is set.
  5. Mix the honey and lemon juice together, using a pastry brush glaze the pears with honey mixture.
  6. Sprinkle with icing sugar.
  7. Let cool completely and serve at room temperature.

I’ll Never Be A Princess Pie

I heard some news last week that made me very, very sad. Prince William and Kate Middleton are now engaged. With this news the reality that I will never be a princess came crashing down on me. Sure, it’s unlikely that I’d ever meet Prince William, but as long as Kate was just “the girlfriend” there was still hope. That hope is now gone.

So I turned to the food that brings me the most comfort; pie. In this case Pear and Cranberry Hand Pies from Food & Wine Magazine. The recipe calls for store bought all butter puff pastry. I didn’t have any on hand so I decided to make my own. Now before you get all impressed with my mad skills, I used Nick Malgieri’s Quick Puff Pastry recipe from Bake! Although it doesn’t rise as much as a traditional puff pastry, for a recipe like this where height is not required it’s perfect. And it’s as easy to make as a traditional pie crust.

The hand pies are delicious. One bite brought me right back to my usual happy self. And it reminded me that while Prince Harry is a little young for me, he does meet the half my age plus seven criteria.

I think.

This is my Magazine Monday submission for this week. Head over to Cream Puffs in Venice every Monday to see what other bloggers have cooked up from their magazine collections

Pear and Cranberry Hand Pies

  • 2 pears, cored, peeled and dice into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 batch of Quick Puff Pastry or a 14 oz package of all butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the pears, cranberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt together.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry until 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 12 four inch circles.
  3. Spoon some of the pear filling into the center of half the circles. Brush some of the egg on the edges of the dough, then cover with the remaining circles. Press the edges together making sure they are tightly sealed. Cut slits into the top of each hand pie to let some of the steam escape.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash, then bake for about 30 minutes until the crust is a nice golden brown.