7 tablespoonsugar(2 portions - 3 tablespoon and 4 tablespoon)
1 ⅓ cwhole milk
4egg yolks(large eggs)
1 teaspoonvanilla extract
1 teaspoonalmond extract
2 tablespoonbutter(unsalted, cold, cubed)
5pears(ripe but firm)
3 cPort wine(or Malbec - also Syrah, Shiraz, Zinfandel)
1lemon(zest and juice)
If using a food processor: Combine both of the flours, sugar, and salt before adding the butter. Add the cubed butter in and blitz in short bursts, and then place the food processor bowl with the dough in the freezer for 10-15 minutes between bursts to keep the butter cold. Beat the egg and almond extract in a small bowl, add to the food processor bowl and combine just enough to moisten the ingredients and form a crumbly dough.
By hand: Combine both of the flours, sugar, and salt before adding the butter. Add the cubed butter in and cut it in using a pastry cutter until crumbly, then place your bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. While the dough is in the freezer, beat the egg and almond extract together in a small bowl. Take the dough back out of the freezer and squeeze the butter crumbs between your fingertips to flatten into flakes, then add beaten egg and almond extract and combine just enough to moisten the ingredients and form a crumbly dough.
Pull the dough together and form a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Once chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface until it is 4 inches wider in diameter than your 9 inch tart pan. Roll onto your rolling pin and transfer into the tart pan, trim and shape the edges. Lien the inside with parchment paper and weight the crust dough down.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden, remove the parchment paper and contents and bake for an additional 15 minutes until golden brown and there is no longer any shiny (wet) spots on the crust.
Blitz the shelled pistachios and the first portion of sugar (3 tablespoon) in a food processor for about one minute, or until the pistachios are very finely ground.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and ground pistachios with milk and cook on medium high heat and bring to a boil.
While waiting for the pistachio mixture to boil, whisk the second sugar portion (4 tablespoon), eggs yolks, and cornstarch together until smooth. Add the vanilla and almond extract and whisk to combine.
Drizzle in ¼ of the boiled pistachio mixture, whisking vigorously while adding. Continue to add the remaining ¾ of the pistachio mixture in a slow stream and whisk vigorously during this as well.
Return the pistachio mixture to your saucepan and cook on medium heat, whisk continuously while returning the mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, whisking vigorously then remove from heat.
Transfer to a clean bowl and stir in the butter one piece at a time, then place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Set the bowl with the mixture into a larger bowl containing ice to chill quickly. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least four hours (can be refrigerated for up to four days).
Peel the pears and place each into a bowl of water with the lemon juice in it once peeled. Heat your frying pan or skillet (with sides high enough to boil the liquid when covering the pears halfway) to medium high heat, add the wine, sugar, and zests and bring to a boil.
Add the peeled pears and reduce heat to medium, to simmering. Turn the pears while braising to coat evenly with the wine sauce. Braise the pears for about 30 minutes or until tender when forked.
Transfer the braised pears to a medium bowl and pour the braising sauce over them. Allow to cool at room temperature until ready to assemble the tart (or refrigerate until later).
Assembling the Tart
Spread the pistachio cream in your tart crust.
Place the braised pears onto paper towels and pat them dry. Cut the pears in half lengthwise and remove the cores and stems. Slice each half into 4-6 slices and arrange on top of the pistachio cream, starting on the outer edge and working toward the center in a spiral.
Top with the optional pistachios, caramelized or not and either ground, chopped or left whole. Serve with the optional syrup, if desired.
*For ease of removing the cooked tart, I recommend a tart pan with a removable bottom.**Save the sauce from braising the pears, add honey and boil at medium high heat to reduce to a thick syrup for drizzling when serving the tart (optional).***Pistachios on the top of the tart can also be rough chopped or ground vs caramelizing (based on your preference).****We stored the remaining tart in Tupperware overnight and had delicious pear tart on night two! Yum!https://bakeitwithlove.com/recipe/pear-and-pistachio-cream-tart-recipe/