Monday, May 14, 2012

Rustic Pear Torte

This is a dessert that is light and comforting. Not too sweet and lots of fruit flavor.
I came up with this recipe after watching something similar be made on the Food Network. We were living in Mammoth at the time and I was in the midst of my new found hobby of cooking new recipes and having an elaborate meal every night. (Back when I only had 3 little angels, and evidently more time on my hands because I seem to have gotten more accomplished then . . . but I digress.)
   My amazing husband's favorite fruit is a pear (hence my creation of a cake honoring his favorite dessert - Pears Belle Helen Cake). I had recently bought some pears from the one and only grocery store in town and I thought I would try my hand at making a pear torte. It's basically a pie that you cook on a cookie sheet, instead of in a pie pan - but even easier than a pie. It looks impressive and like it took a while to make but it only takes a couple minutes to whip up and then 20 minutes or so to bake.
   I fell in love with how easy and delicious this torte was and now I make it all the time.

Here's all you need:
9 inch pie crust, cream cheese, pears, honey, egg wash (not pictured) and cinnamon sugar (not pictured)
Just peel the pears. I think 3 or 4 pears is perfect (my hubby does love pears after all) but I only had 2 today.

Core and de-stem the pears. (I always use a knife, but I hear that some people use a melon baller.)

After they are all cored and de-stemmed, just slice them into 1/4 inch slices.

Roll out the pie crust (or un-roll the pie crust if you are using store bought like I am today), and place on a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Then spread the crust with softened cream cheese. I used 3 Tbsp. You just want to cover the crust with a thin layer of the cheese, leaving about 1/2 inch border.

Next, drizzle the cream cheese with honey. I think I used a total of 1 Tbsp, but you just want to drizzle a little to cover the cream cheese.

Like this.

Now, arrange the pear slices in a pretty pattern over the honey-ed cream cheese crust. If I had one or two more pears I would have been able to fill in the torte more. You want to make sure the pears are in a single layer and that you leave at least 1 inch around the edge.

When all the pear slices are arranged, fold the crust over the edge of the pears.

When it's all folded, it looks like this. (Or something like this. It doesn't matter how the folds look. That's way it's "rustic.")

Brush the crust with an egg wash (1 egg mixed with a splash of water).

And then sprinkle the top with a little cinnamon and sugar (or a pre-mixed cinnamon sugar) it's up to you. I still had some cinnamon sugar left over from when I made my Zeppole With Nutella Dipping Sauce. I have a glass syrup dispenser with a metal top (like you see in pancake houses) that I use for my cinnamon sugar. My parents always used a syrup dispenser for their white sugar, so the idea kinda stuck. It's a good one I think. :)  Just sprinkle the top with a little, until it's lightly covered.

It goes into a 425F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it is brown and bubbly.

Just cool, plate and serve.

I think all you need is a dusting of powdered sugar and maybe a dollop of whipped cream. Yum!

Here's the recipe:

Rustic Pear Torte

9 inch pie crust
3 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp honey
2-4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
egg wash (1 egg mixed with a splash of water)
cinnamon (to taste)
sugar (to taste)

Preheat oven to 425F. Roll out pie crust and place onto silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Spread cream cheese over crust in a thin layer, leaving 1/2 inch border. Drizzle honey over the cream cheese. Arrange the pears in a single layer over the honey-ed cream cheese, leaving at least a 1 inch border of crust. Fold the crust over the edge of the pears. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle over a little cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the cheese is bubbly. Cool completely and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.

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