I would like to thank everyone for all the well wishes for myself and Lisa, we are both still under the weather, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel (at least for me). I am off all next week for our winter break, so I’ll have plenty of time to rest and recuperate, so I’m 100 % when its time to go back to work the following Monday….sigh
I hate wasting time off being sick! It’s not as if I planned to do a great deal, but I was hoping to make a few things and get just a little ahead on my posts (its a dream I have)… but when you stop and think about it, things could certainly be a lot worse! Except for a bit of a cold, I do have my health, I have a house to keep me warm and a car to drive back and forth to work, and most importantly I still have a job! There are a lot of folks out there these days that would gladly trade places, and that’s something to always remember, we are blessed. Not only do we have enough to eat, but we have enough to have fun blogging about, let’s all just take a minute to realize just how fortunate we all are.
We are also blessed with a community of bloggers who do more than just post about foods they’ve made or eaten…..they actually care about each other, and have no qualms about showing it. I feel very fortunate to call so many of them friends!
Today I am very happy to share my blog with one of those friends, Tina aka, Flourtrader. For those of you that don’t know Tina, your in for such a treat today! Tina is well into her second year of blogging, but came to our Foodbuzz community last March. She has been amazing us with her sweet treats for some time now, although she does through an non baked good in from time to time to keep us from going into a sugar coma! But when you stop by to see what the Flourtrader has come up with, you’re not just getting a easy to follow recipe, you’re getting a step by step process that tells you just what you need to do, to make her recipe successfully…….but the whole time you’re reading Tina’s post, you’ll think you’re having coffee with an old friend. For those of you that already know Tina, you know exactly what I’m talking about!
So sit back , relax, put your feet up and get ready wipe the drool off your keyboard………as I give you-
Today is a big day for me. I am doing my first guest post and it is on Chef Dennis’ blog! I was simply so excited when I got invited, I was beside myself. Yes, I did see a clone of me at the time! He is such an asset to the blogging community and it is a great privilege to have been chosen. There is no telling how many bloggers and companies that are trying just to get a mere mention on his blog, let alone being featured as a guest!
I have always thought that when you start a food blog a little icon should pop up of Chef Dennis saying “welcome to the world of food blogging, I am here with tips and suggestions to help you make the most of your blog.” He is definitely the concierge of this type of social media and there are thousands that have benefited from his advice, including myself.
If you do not know me, my name is Tina and my blog goes by the name of Flourtrader. The blog has a bit of a sweet tooth and I create some of my own recipes and post other recipes as well. I am constantly on the look out for new recipes, food of different cultures and tutorial information to help and inspire me on my posts, so my blogger friends have played an important part in my blogging journey since May of 2011.
Today, I bring you a Zinfandel Pear Tart, which had a few new challenges for me. Here is a link to the recipe for the sweet pastry shell posted earlier in the week it was a learning process! Also, the poaching of the pears was something I had never done nor tasted. However, considering that I was a newbie, I was pleased with the end result in appearance as well as taste. This is something I will make again. Anyhow, I will not delay with any more ramblings, below is the recipe.
- 1 inches sweet pastry tart shell baked (bought or homemade 10 by 1 inch)
- 5-7 hard pears bosc or comice
- 1/2 tbs unsalted melted butter for greasing pan
- Pear Poaching Liquid
- Custard Filling
- 1 vanilla been split and scraped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup of lemon juice about 6-8 lemons
- 2 cups bottles of Zinfandel 8
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tbs flour sifted
- 1/2 cup pear poaching liquid
- 3 tbs lemon zest
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- To poach the pears, fill a large stainless steel or enamel pan with all the pear poaching liquid ingredients.
- peel, core and half one of the pears, and place each half into the liquid, continue with this process for each of the pears.
- Place the pan over high heat and place a smaller lid inside the pan to keep the pears submerged while cooking.
- Let the mixture come to a boil and then reduce heat to low or just below simmering.
- Cook for about an hour until pears are tender but not mushy.
- Slow cooking is important to allow them to absorb the flavors and color of the liquid. Remove the pan from the heat.
- If after an hour the pears seem just tender, you can let the halves cool in the poaching liquid, otherwise, their softness would indicate that they are to be removed.
- If removing, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place each half face down on the paper. Then let cool in the fridge.
- Strain the poaching liquid into a bowl and reserve all for later use in this recipe.
- Once the pears have cooled, take about 4 or 6 halves out of the fridge.
- Make pear slices by cutting crosswise about 1/8 of an inch thick.
- Spread halves evenly over the bottom of the pastry shell.
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Find a heat proof bowl and a pot that it can rest in or you can use a double boiler.
- Fill pot or bottom boiler pan and let water come to a simmer.
- Place all custard ingredients in a food processor and blend for about 1 minute. Pour the custard into a heat proof bowl or top boiler pan.
- place over container of simmering water, stirring constantly.
- Once the mixture reaches a warm temperature, pour it into the pastry shell, leaving a 1/4 inch border of pastry around the top.
- Bake until custard is set, which should take about 25 minutes.
- Remove pan and let cool completely.
- Cut the remaining pear halves into 1/8 inch slices.
- Pick through the slices and sort the biggest in one group and the smallest in the other, set the two piles aside. (You will need to use the biggest and best slices first,I found that there was no shortage of those when assembling.)
- Take 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid and place in a saucepan over high heat. Boil the mixture until it is reduced to about 1 1/2 to 2 tbs, Remove pan, Your liquid should be thick and syrupy.
- With a pastry brush, brush syrup all over the top of the tart filling.
- Starting from the outer edge of your tart filling, place slices in circular rows with rounded edges on the outside. Your slices should slightly overlap each on right and left sides. In addition, the next inner row should have some overlap. This is best shown in the illustrations in this post. Once all the tart filling has been covered with pear slices, you are almost ready to serve.
- Now what about all the reserved poaching liquid left over? It will now become a dessert sauce. Pour it all back into a saucepan and let boil down to about 1 cup, then let cool.
The best way to serve a slice is put the tart piece in the center of the plate. Pour the wine sauce onto the left half of the plate and creme fraiche on the right side. Enjoy!
Don’t say I didn’t warn you, that was one delicious guest post! You really need to try poaching pears, if you’ve never done it, they are truly magnificent, and Tina’s step by step method is the perfect way to start! So before you forget, head on over to Flourtrader, and say hi to Tina, its a good day to make a new friend! Just remember to tell her Chef Dennis sent you!
Have a great weekend, it’s definitely winter across most of the world this side of the equator, so please stay safe and stay warm and treat yourself to something decadent and delicious…..you deserve it!