It's finally raining and cooling down out here in Los Angeles. Well I wouldn't really call it rain since it stopped for a few hours, but I am anticipating a lot heavy pours this year *fingers cross*. I've been almost indoors all day with the exception of getting some groceries. Cooking and baking becomes so enjoyable in this weather. I am loaded up with a lot of coffee to not get sucked into this hibernating weather. It's so tempting to grab my cat, Ford, and snuggle with him under the sheets. Yeah he will try to fight his way out, but sooner or later he gets tired and just lays there, and tells me he hates me and how much I smell like bacon.
I decided to bake today. Just to remind you guys, I am a terrible baker. To follow recipes step by step is such a task for me. I don't think I've ever made a sweet baked dish that came out exactly what I wanted, because I would miss a step.... or 6...
Tornado Pear Tart Recipe:
Crème pâtissière (sounds sexier than Pastry Cream):
- 2 Cups of whole milk
- 1/4 cup + 1/3 cups of sugar
- 1 Egg + 2 Egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of Baking Powder
Heat the 2 cups of milk with the 1/4 cup of sugar on medium high heat and stir occasionally. In a separate mixing bowl, I mixed the eggs, 1/3 cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and the 1/4 cups of flour (make sure to whisk until smooth).
When your milk starts to simmer, I removed it from the heat and ladle very slowly into the egg mixture while whisking at the same time. Because I'm paranoid, I slowly added about half the milk and whisking it like crazy before putting it back into the pot. I then put the pot back on the stove, but on medium low. The creme is whisked until it gets to a thick-gloopy consistency. Like this:
When it gets to a thick yogurt consistency, I then add the 2 tablespoons of butter and the 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract. Whisk again and pour it into a bowl with saran wrap on the cream so it does not form a layer. After the temperature drops a little, stick it into the fridge to cool before using.
- 1 Cup of flour
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- pinch of salt
With a food processor, I put all the dry ingredients and pulsed a few times to mix them evenly. Next I would drop the egg and pulse (you will notice the dough turns into little pebbles). I got the butter, chopped a few chunks, and pulsed it into the flour until it formed a dough. The dough is very soft and a little hard to work with, so I would kneed a little more flour (about 1/4 cup) before forming it into my tart pan.
My tart pan was buttered slightly. I layered the pastry cream on top followed by canned pears I drained and sliced.
SO. Since I suck at following the rules of baking, I totally forgot to pre-bake my stupid tart. Don't forget to do this. Freeze your crust for about 30 minutes so the dough can come back together (Basically fast chilling it). Take a fork and poke your crust a few times allowing steam to escape. After you bake your crust for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees, take it out to let it rest a bit before layering the cream.
About 1/2 the pastry cream goes into the tart. Layer the pears and let it bake for 40 minutes on 350.
Ok I think I'm calling it a tornado because my kitchen was a mess afterwards. Since I didn't bake my crust first, I was kind of surprise that it was still passable. I actually roasted the tart in the oven for about 15 minutes, before switching it over to baking. Because when you roast, the heat generates more so from the bottom of the oven, which is what I needed since I'm anticipating the bottom of the crust will be the most difficult to cook.
I added a little sprinkle of sugar around the crust 5 minutes before removing it from the oven. Let it cool for about 15-20 minutes before removing it from the tin (HOT). Slice it and serve with some coffee or tea.
Please don't go nuts on me with the steps that I took to make this. I've already forgiven myself for the crust...