The Art of Eating: A Perfect Pear Custard Tart

Custard? Pears? Yes please! This is one of the flavor combinations that was meant to be. For me, the delicate sweetness of the custard is the perfect complement to the sweet tartness of the pears. I seem to go on about these combinations, but for good reason. So much taste and enjoyment of eating comes down to how certain ingredients and flavors are paired together. This is just one simple yet beautiful example. Really, you can’t go wrong with this tart. It’s delicious, especially served with some freshly whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Dessert, anyone?!

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This will be a two part recipe: the first part being for the pie crust, and the second for the pear and custard filling. And I think it’s worth noting that I tried my fair share of pie crust recipes before finally settling on this one. This crust is easy to make, doesn’t need to chill for too long, and is very tasty. I always like to make my own crust, partly because frozen ones aren’t available here, but more because I enjoy the baking and knowing that everything is fresh. Hope you enjoy these two recipes!

Credit for this pie crust recipe belongs to Barbara Castodio’s ‘Ruth’s Grandma’s Pie Crust’ on allrecipes.com. The pear custard tart recipe is inspired by TNMARTIN’s ‘Pear and Custard Tart’ on allrecipes.co.uk.


Part I: The Best Pie Crust

Yield: 2 large pie shells, without tops

Ingredients 

4 cups of flour

1 3/4 cups of vegetable shortening

3 tbs of white sugar

2 tsp of salt

1 egg

1/2 cup of water

Directions 

In a smal bowl, whisk together the water and egg and set aside.

In a large bowl, blend the shortening with the flour, sugar and salt, using your fingers to combine until the mixture is crumbly. Add the egg and water mixture and incorporate completely, continuing to work with your hands.

Shape the dough into a large ball and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the dough is cold and firm, but still flexible.

Once the dough has chilled, place it on a well floured work surface. Knead a few times and then roll it out using a rolling pin. You should need to turn the dough over three or four times while rolling; be sure to sprinkle with flour before and after each turn.

When the dough is about 1/4 of an inch thick, coat with flour again, gently roll it around the rolling pin and transfer to the pie plate. Press it into the plate, either crimping the edges or allowing some extra to hang over the sides, as the dough sometimes shrinks down into the plate when cooking. You can always trim off excess crust later.

Bake according to the recipe for the desired filling.

 

Part II: Pear Custard Tart

Yield: 1 pie sized tart

Ingredients

1 pie shell

4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced

3 eggs

5 tbs of flour

1 cup of granulated sugar

4 tbs of butter, melted

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F. Precook the pie crust for 10-15 minutes.

Whisk together the flour and sugar. One by one add the eggs and then the vanilla and melted butter. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.

Pour the custard into the pastry shell and arrange the pear slices on top in a circular pattern. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the custard has set.

Serve with whipped cream, fruit, or just a little powdered sugar.

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