I call this a pear or apple tart because it is equally good with either fruit, or some combination of both. The possible permutations of fruit options is nearly limitless as you can use the same fruit for the pureed filling and the sliced fruit topping, or different varieties of the same fruit for each, or entirely different fruits if you wish.
For purity of flavor use the same variety of apple or pear for both the puree and the sliced, decorative topping. Add a little complexity by using a different apple or pear for the puree and the topping (say a sweet variety for the puree and a tart one for the topping). Go even further afield by using one fruit, say pears for the puree, and apples for the topping. Like I said, the options are many.
Any old way you go, you're gonna love this tart. The vanilla scented puree in the filling makes for a light tart, as opposed to one filled with a pastry cream, and in fact may become a stand-alone favorite that you'll serve up along side some roasted meat as a fruit compote….I know I will.
If you must, you can melt some apricot jam to brush over the top of it when it comes from the oven for a more "refined" look, but for me the rustic beauty achieved by brushing it with a little butter followed by a sprinkle of sugar is just perfect.
Cheers – Steve
Pear or Apple Tart
for the pastry crust;
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and frozen for 15 minutes
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cold water
for the fruit filling;
- 3 apples or pears, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
- 3 tablespoons fine sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- splash of water
- for the sliced fruit topping;
- 3 pears or apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
for the pastry crust;
- Put the flour, sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the water and continue to pulse until the dough just begins to pull from the sides of the hopper and form a mass.
- Turn the rough dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, form it into a ball, then flatten it into a disc, wrap it and set it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- When the dough has chilled and relaxed, pull it from the fridge and roll it to a round large enough to line an 11" false bottom tart pan. Lay the rolled dough into the pan, pressing it into place, then roll the pin across the top of the pan to finish the top edge. Remove any scraps of dough and place the pan in the fridge to chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- While the shell is chilling set your oven to 400℉.
- Remove the shell from the fridge and dock the bottom of it well with a fork. Line the shell with parchment and fill with pie weights. Blind bake the shell for about 20 minutes, until the shell is set and starting to turn golden.
- Remove the parchment and weights than put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until evenly golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.
for the pureed filling;
- Put enough water in a medium saucepan to just coat the bottom. Add the diced fruit, vanilla paste, sugar and butter. Cook over medium heat until the fruit is soft and any liquid in the pan has evaporated, about 15 minutes. If the pan dries out before the fruit is tender, add a touch more water.
- Place the cooked fruit into the hopper of a food processor and blitz to your liking, leaving it either slightly chunky, or blasting it until its completely smooth.
to finish the tart;
- Heat the oven to 375℉.
- Spread the pureed fruit evenly in the pre-baked shell. Arrange slices decoratively around the top of the tart, starting from the outside edge and working in, slightly overlapping the slices as you go. gently brush the slices with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar.
- Place the tart in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the sliced fruit is lightly browned at the edges.