The folks at Crave! at Work  offered to send me a 10 pound bag of fruit to share with my coworkers and use for their recipe challenge , and I obviously couldn’t say no. When the bag arrived (filled with a few different kinds of pears, mini bananas, and chestnuts), everyone at the office kept saying how cute the mini bananas were, and one colleague couldn’t wait to swipe the chestnuts to roast at home. For some reason, I gravitated toward pears, a fruit I have never baked with nor liked. Call me crazy.
I was super excited when I found this recipe  for an Asian Pear Tart in the LA Times, but found myself extremely disappointed when the end result was a very soggy tart. I tweeted to someone at the LA Times test kitchen and she said she will try the recipe and get back to me because she was curious about the method involved. Has anyone tried the recipe?
So, I ended up finding this “healthier” Asian pear tart recipe, and while it looks pretty, the dough was incredibly difficult to work with. I couldn’t get it to roll out and the amount of dough would never have even rolled to a 10 inch circle, so I ended up doubling the recipe and pressing it into a tart pan. I did however taste the pears, and what do you know–I actually like Asian pears, go figure!
While this recipe won’t win any ribbons, there is a prize for one of you! Crave! at Work is giving away a 10 pound bag of fruit to one of Nosh’s LA area readers. Just leave a comment below telling me your favorite dessert made with fruit and you will be entered in the giveaway to have fruit delivered to your office!
Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 5, 2011. One winner will be selected at random shortly thereafter and contacted by email. Please note this contest is only open to Los Angeles area residents.
1 large ripe but firm pear, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon plus 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided, plus additional for dusting
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons walnut oil, or canola oil
1-2 tablespoons cold water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Toss pear slices, 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl.
Whisk 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle oil over the mixture and stir with a fork until evenly combined. Add 1 tablespoon water and stir until the dough just stays together when pressed with a fork; add up to 1 additional tablespoon of water if the dough seems too dry.
Line a work surface with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, generously dust with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Form the dough into a small patty, dust the top with flour and roll into a rustic 10-inch circle, adding more flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer the crust to a baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat in place.
Lay the pear slices in decorative, overlapping circles on top of the crust, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Spoon any remaining pear juice over the slices. Pick up the edges of the crust using a spatula and fold over the pears. The crust will not meet in the center.
Bake the tart until lightly browned and bubbling, about 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Eating Well .