|Whole Baked Pears in Flaky Pastry|
As I write this post, I am knee-deep in my first week as a law student. To say the least, classes have been time-consuming.
One of the few ways I'm trying to calm down and prevent a total freak out is by maintaining this blog at least once a week. As Miss Kim would say, "We shall see."
Having to limit my foodblogging desires has at least forced me to consciously decide what to post about. So while some of my posts will still encompass my good ol' standby recipes, I think the majority of the upcoming posts will involve recipes I haven't tried before.
Remember my pear tart bakefails? This is kind of a continuation on that theme, minus the tart and minus the pate sucre. Okay, so maybe this is really just a continuation on pears.
Why am I still working the pear angle?
The answer is simple: Miss Kim. My mother.
I guess my mom is the answer to most of my food-related issues or inspirations.
In this case, she once again gave me a crap-ton of fresh pears from her fruit tree.
And while I loved the Alsatian Tart that I made after my bakefails, I wanted to use these pears to make individual serving desserts.
Making pate brisee (the flaky pastry dough) is freaking easy. So much easier than pate sucre, and it takes less time to chill and prep. Hooray! This recipe is very easy, while still creating a beautiful and impressive little dessert. It takes about an hour and half in total prep and cook, and tada! A French dessert that only looks as hard to create as it is to pronounce.
Bourdelots normands aux poire
(Whole pears in flaky pastry)
Adapted from La Cuisine-Everyday French Home Cooking
by Francoise Bernard
Make the Pate Brisee:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, cut into pieces, slightly softened is ok
1/4 cup water, more if necessary.
In a bowl, combine flour with salt and add butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your hands, using your palms. Sprinkly with 1/4 cup of water and knead gently. Press into a disk. DO NOT overknead, it will toughen the dough (then no flaky texture!) On a floured surface, knead the dough away from you with the heel of your palm three times. Reform into a disk, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least twenty minutes.
Prep the pears (I used small pears from my mother's fruit tree, based on their size, the number of pears you use only affects how many individual servings you'll get per batch of dough.)
5 small semi-ripe pears, peeled, halved and seeded- you can hull out the seeds with a grapefruit spoon
Apricot preserves (enough to fill each pear cavity with at least 1 tsp of preserves)
1/2 stick of butter (approximately)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill each pear cavity with a pat of butter and top with apricot preserves. Roll out the dough roughly into a large square, and cut enough squares out for all your pear halves. You want each square to be large enough to wrap around the pear. Place a pear half onto one square and wrap the dough around the pear like a package, pinching the seams together. Brush with beaten egg to seal. Repeat with remaining pear halves. If you have extra dough remaining, roll out again and press small rounds (I used a cookie cutter) to lay on top of each pear (to cover the preserves) and brush again with egg. Lay wrapped pears evenly on a pan-sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until crust is light brown and flaky, and the pear has cooked completely. Serve warm (reheat to re-serve as well).