I have really been enjoying the pear and gorgozola flavour combination lately and when I came across a tart using it in a recent edition of Food & Drink magazine, it immediately caught my attention. Another reason that I was looking forward to making this tart was that it has a more traditional tart shell. Although the puff pastry and phyllo dough tarts that I have been making lately are quick and easy and always good, I was kind of missing the fluted edge tarts. Speaking of the crust, it is an all butter crust where some of the flour has been replaced with ground walnuts which is particularly nice as walnuts go really well with pears. The pears are poached in wine to ensure that they are nice and tender and poaching them like that makes them a little sweeter and gives them an amazing fruity aroma. The filling is a simple mixture of gorgonzola, sour cream, an egg yolk and a touch of honey that is all pureed in a food processor to make it nice and smooth.
This tart is actually pretty easy to make and if you prepare the dough for the pastry the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight then it takes even less time to put together on the day that you make it. I served the pear and gorgonzola tart with a simple arugula salad and topped it with some prosciutto. The peppery arugula and the salty prosciutto only added to the pear and gorgonzola flavour combination making it even better!
Pear and Gorgonzola Tart(makes 4+ servings)
2 pears (peeled and cut in half and cored)
2 cups sugar
2 cups white wine
1 cup water
4 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 ounces gorgonzola (room temperature)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
1 large egg yolk
1 walnut pie shell (fitted in tart pans and pre-baked)
1. Place the pears in a large sauce pan with cut side down followed by the sugar, wine, water, peppercorns, and bay leaves and simmer covered until the pears are tender, about 10-30 minutes. (Note: The simmer time can vary depending on how ripe the pears are.)
2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature in the liquid.
3. Slice the pears thinly.
4. Mix the gorgonzola, sour cream, honey, thyme and egg yolk inf a food processor until smooth.
5. Spread the filling out over the tart crust and top with fanned sliced pears.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the filling is set, about 10-15 minutes.
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