Saturday, October 1, 2011

::Pear & Gorgonzola Tart::

2 pears (peeled and cut in half and cored)
2 cups sugar
2 cups white wine
1 cup water
4 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 ounces gorgonzola (room temperature) OR Goat Cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
1 large egg yolk
1 walnut pie shell (fitted in tart pans and pre-baked)

1. Place the pears in a large sauce pan with cut side down followed by the sugar, wine, water, peppercorns, and bay leaves and simmer covered until the pears are tender, about 10-30 minutes. (Note: The simmer time can vary depending on how ripe the pears are.)
2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature in the liquid.
3. Slice the pears thinly.
4. Mix the gorgonzola, sour cream, honey, thyme and egg yolk inf a food processor until smooth.
5. Spread the filling out over the tart crust and top with fanned sliced pears.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the filling is set, about 10-15 minutes.

Walnut Butter Pie Crust :

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground walnuts (toasted before ground)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
4-5 tablespoons water (cold)

1. Pulse the flour, ground walnuts, salt and sugar in a food processor to mix.
2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 6-8 times.
3. Add a tablespoon of water at a time pulsing in between until it starts to clump together.
4. Place the dough on a clean surface and shape it into a disc.
5. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6. Roll the dough into a 12 inch circle about 1/8 of an inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
7. Place the dough into a 9 inch diameter spring form pan with the edges going up the side of the pan.
8. Place a piece of parchment paper in the pie and fill it with rice or beans to hold it down.
9. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes.
10. Remove the parchment paper and weight and poke the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.
11. Bake until a light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

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