Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pear Camembert Sage Tart


Pssst. I have a secret to tell.  We'll not exactly a secret. More like a confession. My January recipe posts for about.com were designed to get rid of all the extra cheese I bought for my New Year's Eve fondue dinner which was tons of fun, btw. 


The plan was to serve the three traditional fondues, cheese with cut up baguettes, marinated meat pieces cooked in hot oil with homemade sauces and instead of a chocolate fondue, my friend Jackie Gordon lent me her small chocolate fountain. 

We never got to the fountain because people were so stuffed from the meal, they just grazed the platter of German, Swiss and Belgium chocolates I had brought back from a recent trip home to Europe.


I served sides of cinnamon rosemary potatoes with garlic and fresh broccoli roasted in tahini sauce.

After making cheese fondue for 15 people, I still had some bricks of Emmentaler, gruyere and a few camembert rounds left in the fridge.


All that lovely leftover cheese was inspiring so first up is this lovely winter savory tart. The pears add a bit of sweetness to balance the cheese and the fresh sage brings another layer of savory. The sage leaves were picked fresh from my garden in January. Weird weather here on the East Coast of the US of A.



Aside from the step of blind baking the crust, this tart comes together very easily. I used red pears to boost the color for presentation but any variety will do. 
If you would like to add some nutty crunch to the recipe, a scattering of a 1/2 a cup of chopped raw walnut pieces over the top before baking would do the trick.


Pear Camembert Sage Tart
Prep Time: 30 minutes 
Bake Time: 55 minutes 
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 pieces 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes) 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, loosely packed
  • 3 pears (any type. I used red for their color)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 9 ounces camembert cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider
  • 2 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper. 
Directions:
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.
  • Grate the butter into very small pieces and add it to the bowl. Add 1/3 cup water.
  • Knead everything together into a dough. Form the dough into a ball. If the dough seems too floury and is not coming together, add water one tablespoon at a time, until you have a flakey, yet pliable dough.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic cling film and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Grease a tart or pie pan 11 inches in diameter (you can also use a 5 X 11 rectangle shaped tart pan.)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into the shape of the pan you are using.
  • Transfer the dough to the greased pan and use your fingers to crimp the dough around the edges of the pan. Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the crust.
  • Cover the bottom of the crust with baking or parchment paper and evenly distribute pie weights on top. If you do not have pie weights, you can use pennies or dried beans. Alternatively, place a smaller sized pan inside the larger pan on top of the parchment paper on the crust. This will weigh the crust down to prevent it from puffing up.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool. In the meantime, rinse the sage leaves and cut them into thin ribbons.
  • Wash the pears and pat dry with a paper towel. Halve the pears and remove the cores and stems.
  • Then cut each pear half into slices lengthwise, about 4-5 pieces from each half.
  • Place the pear slices in a bowl and toss them with the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Make sure they are evenly coated. You don't want them to brown.
  • Cut the rind of the camembert cheese and cut the rindless cheese into small pieces.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, cider, and eggs. Whisk in the sage leaves and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Remove the pie weights and the baking paper from the blind-baked pie crust.
  • Evenly distribute the pear slices and camembert cheese pieces into the bottom of the tart. Pour the sour cream egg mixture over the top and make sure it is evenly distributed.
  • Place the tart pan back in the oven and cook for 50-55 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

2 comments:

  1. As good as that cheese fondue sounded, there is no way I wouldn't have left some room to partake in the chocolate fountain! Glad your NYeve gathering was a hit. This pear and Camembert tart looks delicious!

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  2. Ah, this is beautiful, Lora! But a main or a dessert? I think this would make a gorgeous buffet dish so could be eaten as a savory or as a sweet. What a perfect way to use up cheese!

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