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Shannon shared another tart recipe with me. This one, she says, takes a bit longer than the chocolate raspberry tart because it involves a homemade pastry crust, but it’s totally worth it because it’s so good.

Pear Almond Tart // Les tartes aux poires et amandes

Pastry:

  • 150 g (1 1/4c) flour
  • 90 g (3 1/4 oz) chilled unsalted butter cubed
  • 55 g (1/4 c) caster/baker’s sugar
  • 2 egg yolks lightly beaten

Filling:

  • 150 g (5 1/4 oz) unsalted butter @ room temp
  • 150 g (2/3c) caster/baker’s sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 125 g (1 1/4c) ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp  flour
  • 3 ripe pears

For pastry, sift flower in bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips until consistency of breadcrumbs Stir in caster sugar and mix well. Incorporate egg yolks with a flat blade knife or pastry knife/blender. Gather into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease tart pan. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking/parchment paper until large enough to line the base and side of the tin. Line the tin with the pastry and trim the edge. Sparsely prick the base with a fork. Line the base with the baking paper, pour in some uncooked cheap rice or beans and bake for 10 mins. Remove the paper and the rice or beans and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool.

For the filling, beat butter and sugar in a bowl for 30 seconds. (Don’t beat it so much that it becomes creamy.) Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in the ground almonds and flour. Spread filling over the cooled pastry base.

Peel and de-core the pears. Slice fairly thin and cover top of tart. Bake for 50 minutes or until filling has set (middle might still be soft when hot). Let cool in tin before serving.

Jamie, of the cream puffs, also makes delicious homemade chicken noodle soup. This week she came over to show me how to do it! The results were terrific, and perfect for the last few cold days of winter. It’s a very simple recipe that you can easily customize (less chicken, more noodles, no celery, etc). In fact, it’s more of a rough guideline for how to make the soup than it is a precise recipe.

Chicken Noodle Soup:

  • 3-5 chicken drumsticks
  • Celery, chopped
  • Carrots, chopped
  • Onion, chopped
  • Italian spices (basil, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano, sage, etc)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Egg noodles

Fill a large stockpot almost 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and the celery, carrots, and onion. Add some salt, pepper, and seasonings (later, taste the soup to see if you need to make any additions). Let it simmer for about half an hour, or until the drumsticks are thoroughly cooked and white on the outside. Add some seasoning (salt, pepper, Italian spices). Carefully remove the chicken and place it on a cutting board. Add some egg noodles to the pot, and cook them as long as the package suggests (roughly 8-11 minutes). Meanwhile, discard chicken skin and bones, shred the meat, and place it back in the pot. Serve hot!

(Note: when you refrigerate the soup, the noodles soak up more of the broth, so when you reheat it later, add more water and some more seasoning.)