Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Brie, Pear and Hazelnut Brittle Tart

I often find myself thinking about wine pairings as it's a regular topic where I work. I also often find myself staring into the depths of the meat and cheese drawer of my refrigerator thinking about what to eat. Both of these occurrences led me to this tart. The crust is made with cold Sherry (dry, I used an Amontillado) instead of water and lends itself to either a sweet or savory tart.

This one is a bit of both.

After making the dough I let it rest in the fridge and got to the hazelnut brittle. Brittle is one of those things that seems way more difficult than it is sometimes. It couldn't be easier, just heat some sugar (I used about a cup) until it starts to melt and brown, add in butter and when everything looks like caramel through in your chopped nuts. Pour mixture out onto some parchment paper and wait until cool. Mine looked like this:

While this cools make the brie custard. I have no measurements for this stuff, it's one of my pitfalls of baking right now. I hate to measure and often just guess. That may be OK for fillings but it gets me in trouble for anything else. I cut off the rind of the brie and whipped it up adding 3 yolks and about 1/2 cup or so of cream. This makes the base of the tart. On top of that goes sliced pears that have been dipped in reduced PX Sherry till it looks like syrup. Before heading to the oven the tart looks pretty good:

The shell was par-cooked and the whole thing baked at 375 for about 20 minutes or until the custard set and browned a bit. The brittle gets broken into pieces and sprinkled over the slices.


Husband - "I'd eat a couple slices of that."
5-year-old - "Yum Yums"

Me - The flavors worked really well together although the sherry didn't come out in the crust quite as much as I'd expected. The brittle totally makes it work. Next time around I would soak the pear slices in the syrup a bit and pre cook the crust longer. Otherwise, a successful experiment.

Now, on to the next pie!


David said...

One word: fab. Thank you for sharing.

Hello, I'm Sally. said...

Looks very tasty and beautiful.

Tiffany said...

I agree with 'lil S: Yum Yums!