Pecangipane Pear and Cranberry Tart
From Cathy Barrow, the author of “Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving.” Find original here.
Tested size: 12-14 servings; makes one 10-inch tart
- FOR THE FILLING
- 3 cups pecan halves
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- FOR THE CRUST
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- FOR ASSEMBLY
- 4 to 6 ripe Bosc pears (see headnote)
- 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, cut into small dice
For the filling: Place the pecans in the food processor or a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix).
Combine the granulated sugar, honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbling at the edges. Pour directly over the pecans; puree until the mixture is smooth. Add the bourbon; puree until well incorporated. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer to cool. The filling is now pecangipane, which can be used right away or wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap and frozen for up to several weeks.
For the crust: Combine the confectioners’ sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed for several minutes, until lightened and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bowl.
On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating each one until well incorporated and stopping to scrape down the bowl after each addition. Add the flour and salt; beat on low speed just until combined. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to 2 days).
Unwrap the dough; place it between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll it out to round that’s 14 inches in diameter. Take off the top piece of wrap; invert the round of dough into the tart pan and shape it in, making sure to keep the side walls sturdy and evenly thick. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When ready to assemble, peel the pears, then cut them in half and core them, arranging the pears cut sides down on the cutting board. Make thin, horizontal slices (starting from the stem end) almost all the way through each pear half. Cut the lemon in half, then squeeze the juice over the pears (to keep them from discoloring).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the dough-lined tart pan, then use the tines of a fork to dock the bottom of the dough all over. Line with parchment paper and then fill with pie weights, dried beans or pennies. Bake (middle rack) for 10 minutes, then remove the pie weights and parchment; bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is very lightly browned.
Add the butter, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and the egg to the pecangipane in the bowl; beat on medium-low speed until thoroughly incorporated. Spread the pecangipane across the bottom of the tart. Carefully and decoratively arrange as many pear halves as will fit comfortably, cut sides down, over the surface of the pecangipane.
Stir together the cranberries, the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and the crystallized ginger in a small bowl; scatter this mix over the top of the tart.
Place the assembled tart, uncovered, on a level surface in the freezer; freeze for at least 8 hours, then wrap the frozen tart carefully. Place a layer of parchment over the surface to protect the fruit, then wrap in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Label the top of the foil with the contents and directions for baking.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the tart from the freezer, unwrap and place on the baking sheet. Bake (from a frozen state; middle rack) for 55 to 60 minutes, until the sugars are bubbling, the pears have taken on some color and the crust is a light golden brown.
Let cool for 3 hours before serving or storing.