I always complain about baking. It's time consuming, it's tedious, it's fattening, it lacks creativity.
Actually none of those things are true.
I was complaining to a friend about the tediousness of baking when she pointed out that exact measuring was not necessarily a feature of baking at all. So it seemed I wasn't giving baking a fair shake.
So I made a pear tart. Vowing to follow my taste buds and not an exact recipe.
Something you should know about me is that I'm a bit of a perfectionist. Even more than that, I don't like to screw up, fail, or blunder in any way. Baking freaks me out because well, I'm not that good at it, and sometimes it gets screwed up.
Maybe I'm tired of avoiding things just because I'm not perfect at it. Maybe the first pear tart I made turned out weird. Maybe my husband ate it anyway.
Baking can totally be creative, that's what I learned. Especially in the second round, after tasting my mistake tart. Add more fruit! Sprinkle it with cinnamon! Embrace dough rolling!
(Can you spot the cat in this photo?)
(Pssst: Help me win the Flavors Take Flight recipe contest by voting for my Hawaiian Style Fish Chowder here: Flavors Take Flight. Thanks friends!)
Goat Cheese and Pear Tart
serves 8 if you're lucky
(From Joy of Cooking)
Roll Cookies (makes two 9" tart crusts)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in rest of ingredients. Chill the dough 3 to 4 hours, or overnight.
(Inspired by Leite's Culinaria)
6 oz. goat cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBL sugar
3 pears, cored and cut into small pieces
1 TBL unsalted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBL+ white sugar
Pre-heat oven to 375 after your dough has chilled (don't skip this step, I learned the hard way). Roll out dough into 1/4 inch rounds, handling it as little as possible. This is important. I rolled mine out between sheets of waxed paper. Place dough in a greased pie tin or tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
While waiting for the crust to bake and cool, mix the goat cheese, egg, vanilla, and 2 TBL sugar in a small bowl. Lower the oven temp to 350. Once the crust has cooled considerably, add the goat cheese mixture, spreading it out evenly to the very edges of the crust.
Add the pears in layers, sprinkling a little cinnamon and sugar on the layers as you go. Dot with the butter.
Bake tart in the 350 degree oven for 30 minutes on the bottom rack until pears are nice and browned. Enjoy!
(And don't forget to vote for my Hawaiian Style Fish Chowder!)