Eating Local in Phoenix

French Inspired Pear Tart
October 6, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: local, phoenix, recipe, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

There are a lot of things to love about fall in Phoenix.  The weather finally cools down, the oranges start turning color and pumpkins start appearing around everycorner.  For me, fall means that my favorite color (orange) is suddenly everywhere and the apples that I love are finally ripe.  Apples are easily my favorite fruit and fall means that I get to engage in one of my favorite traditions: eating fresh, crisp apple recently plucked from the tree.

For the first few weeks of fall however, I like to celebrate pears.  Because pears aren’t nearly as hardy as apples and don’t last the winter, it’s important to eat them while they’re fresh.

This week at the market I stumbled across some beautiful bosc pears.  These are the pears with the brown skin that are sweet and savory and have just a little sharp note to them.  While they aren’t ideal pears to bake, I simply couldn’t resist turning them into a Jacques Pépin style tart.

“Maman’s Apple Tart” has become a favorite of mine over the last few years.  It’s not overly sweet and really lets the fruit shine through.  The strength of the recipe is its simplicity: The ingredients are mixed with a spoon and the crust is ready to go by the time the oven is preheated.  The most challenging aspect of the recipe is arranging the fruit slices, which takes all of 3 minutes.

The best part of using local ingredients for this recipe?  Exploring the butter and ice cream from Udder Delights.  I’m happy to report that the butter was creamy and tasted pure and simple.  I don’t usually make a habit of tasting butter, but I did taste this stuff and it tasted like, well, nothing but creaminess (which is what I imagine good butter is supposed to taste like).  I paired the tart with cinnamon ice cream from Udder Delights and it was a match made in heaven.

This is the ideal recipe to highlight the pears or apples of the season and makes a perfect dessert or, if you’re like me, weekend breakfast.

French Inspired Pear Tart

Adapted from Jacques Pépin

Makes 4-6 servings



1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 large egg, broken into a small bowl and beaten with a fork

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

pinch salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp hot milk


3 pears

3 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp cold butter, broken into bits

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.  Combine all ingredients except milk in a bowl.  Stir well with a spoon until the mixture starts to combine.  Add the hot milk and stir until well mixed, be careful not to overwork. This is a very soft dough.  Place it into a greased pie plate and.  Dip your fingers into some flour to keep them from sticking and press the dough into the pan until it covers the bottom and sides.

Core the pears.  Cut them into 1/2 wedges.  Arrange the wedges on the dough in a spiral.  Sprinkle with the sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour until the crust is golden brown.

Bon Appetit!


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