Note: For his September cover story on Asian pears, fruit specialist David Karp asked chef Suzanne Tracht of Jozu in West Hollywood to come up with a recipe that would show off the fruit with the subtle pear taste and the crispness of a firm apple. She came up with a terrific Asian Pear Tart that can be served with ice cream or whipped cream. The recipe can also be made with apples or European pear varieties. But try it with Asian pears when they come back in season--you won't be disappointed.
Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, ice cold and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 3/4 cups flour
* Beat butter and powdered sugar on medium speed in electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
* Add yolks 1 at a time with mixer on low speed. Add cream and mix at medium speed 1 minute. Turn off mixer and add flour. Mix on low speed until combined. Do not over mix.
* Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
BROWN SUGAR FILLING
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* Combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in bowl and stir until there are no lumps. Set aside.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, plus extra for greasing tart shells
Flour for dusting tart shells
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
3 to 5 Asian pears, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
* Butter and flour 12 (4 1/2-inch) or 2 (10-inch) tart shells. Remove 1 piece of Sweet Dough from refrigerator and roll out 1/4 inch thick. If making individual tarts, cut dough into 6-inch rounds. Line tart shells with dough, trimming any excess dough even with edge of tart shell. Repeat with remaining piece of dough.
* Fill each tart shell half way with Brown Sugar Filling. For individual tarts, dot each with 1 teaspoon butter in pieces and spoon on 3 tablespoons cream. Arrange 1/4 to 1/2 Asian pear, depending on size of fruit, on each tart. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown, about 35 minutes.
* For 10-inch tarts, dot each with 2 tablespoons butter in pieces and spoon on 9 tablespoons cream. Arrange Asian pear slices on each tart. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes.