You know, sometimes with this blogging stuff I wonder just how much of the back story I ought to share with you. I mean, do I *really* want to tell you about my disasters or just gloss over all that and share pictures of beautiful foods and success stories? But with this one, unless I first share about the tart that *wasn’t*, I won’t have much to say about the tart that is, er, was.
When Trinigourmet announced the 15th Hay, Hay, It’s Donna Day! with a theme of tarts, well of course I had to play along . . . what else would a Fruit tart do? I saw a cover photo of a back issue of the Donna Hay magazine with a pear tart and knew that’s what I wanted to make. But I don’t have that issue and I didn’t find the recipe so I thought I’d improvise. I do have an issue of Donna Hay’s magazine with a custard tart. I thought I’d use nutmeg rather than cinnamon and I wanted to put pear slices on the top.
I started by making my own crust with pecans in it. What I didn’t realize is that when I was removing the beans from the blind baking, I cracked the crust. When I started pouring the custard into the crust, well, let’s just say I was glad the kids were outside with The Husband. I mean, I want to enlarge their vocabulary and encourage proper enunciation, but just not with *those* words. The custard filling poured out the bottom of the tart pan through the crack in the crust and while I was trying to pour it back into a bowl the crust, or at least pieces of it, fell completely out of the tin.
Not to be undone over a little thing like complete failure, I threw together a new crust. This time I used my favorite shortbread crust with some pecans added to it. Then I threw a partial stick of butter in my large frying pan and tossed in a little brown sugar and white sugar and sprinkled it with some nutmeg and let it simmer until it was a thick liquid. Next, I added three sliced pears and a splash of lemon juice and let them simmer for a few minutes, stirring them in the sauce. I cooked them until the pears were beginning to get tender but still firm and opaque. They made quite a bit of juice in the pan so after I pulled the pears out and arranged them on my crust, I added a little more sugar to the pan and let it cook until it was thick again. I poured some of the caramel sauce over the pears and the rest I used to serve with the ice cream.
So, although this project was inspired by Donna Hay, it doesn’t actually include any of her recipes and doesn’t look like the picture on her magazine. But I think we’ll still call it a success and sweep the rest under the rug.