vegan tarte aux poires (pear tart) with cloves
recipe under the cut!
makes one 12-inch tart
for the pâte brisée:
- 1 ½ cup (200g) all-purpose or pastry flour
- ½ cup (100g) cold vegan margarine
- a few tbsp cold water
for the pear filling:
- overripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (about 1 cup total)
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar, more if pears aren’t too sweet
- ¼ cup (30g) flour or almond meal
- 5 whole cloves, or ½ tsp ground cloves
- 5 green cardamom pods, or ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
1. measure flour into a large mixing bowl (if measuring by volume, spoon flour into dry measuring cups until overflowing and then level with the flat of a knife–this will prevent you from adding too much flour and producing a dry dough).
2. add margarine and cut into the flour with a knife or a pastry blender until the bits of margarine are about the size of peas (these will melt to provide flakiness and texture to the dough).
3. add cold water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together–you’ll need less than you might think! avoid overworking the dough–you don’t want too much gluten to develop.
4. wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about half an hour–it will be easier to roll out if you allow it to rest.
5. roll out dough between two lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. form a rough circle by placing your rolling pin in the center of the dough and pushing outward, repeating the motion as you continue to turn the dough. the dough should be roughly 1/4″ thick.
6. remove the top layer of plastic wrap and flip the dough over into a 12″ tart pan. press the dough into the edges of the pan, making sure that it is pressed all the way down into the corners (rather than being stretched over them). don’t work the dough with your hands too much, or you risk melting the butter. prick holes into the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork. optionally, refrigerate the crust for another half hour or so before baking (this should make the finished product more flaky).
7. cover the center of the dough with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights, or something like dried beans, so that the dough doesn’t puff up during baking. parbake at 425F (220C) for 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
for the filling:
1. toss pears with sugar and allow to sit for 10-15min, until they begin to release juice. strain the juice into a small sauce pot.
2. add cloves and cardamom to the sauce pot. heat juice and spices on medium high until just boiling, then reduce to a low simmer and cook until thickened into a syrup.
3. remove from heat. if you used whole spices, strain them out now. stir in the flour or almond meal, salt, and orange blossom water until well combined. pour the mixture back over the pears and mix until well combined. cooking the pear juice down before baking the tart in this way will prevent the tart from becoming soggy.
1. arrange the pear slices over the parbaked pastry, topping with whatever syrup mixture remains.
2. preheat your oven to 425F (220C) with a baking sheet inside. when the oven is preheated, place the tart pan on top of the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes (this helps to prevent the tart from having a soggy bottom).
3. reduce heat to 350F (175C) and bake for another 40 minutes. if the crust seems to be browning more quickly than the filling is solidifying, place aluminum foil around the edges of the tart.
4. top with whole or ground cloves and cardamom, as desired. serve warm.