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Pear Tart

Joan's Pear Tart

Pastry Dough

6 tbs. cold unsalted butter
11/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 to 4 tbs. ice water

Cut butter into 1/2 inch cubes. In a bowl with your fingers or a pastry blender, blend together flour, butter, shortening and salt until most of mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 2 tbsp. water evenly over mix and gently stir with a fork until incorporated. If necessary add more water. Roll out dough as if making a pie crust, and set aside.

Preparing the Pears

3 to 5 firm - ripe pears
1/2 a stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Peel, halve and core pears. In a 9 to 10 inch ovenproof non-stick skillet, heat butter over moderate heat until foam subsides and stir in sugar. (Sugar will not be dissolved.) Arrange pears, cut side up, in skillet, with wide part at the rim of skill. Sprinkle pears with cinnamon and cook without stirring, on the stove, until sugar mix forms a deep golden caramel. (About 10 minutes or so.)

Preheat oven to 425* Cover the top of the pears with the pie crust and tuck edges under the pears. (Do not cover the skillet as if you were making a pie) Bake at 425* for 30 -35 minutes.

Have ready a rimmed serving plate slightly larger than the skillet. As soon as the tart has finished baking, invert plate over the skillet and turn out the tart. Serve at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream or ice cream.

Stuffed Squash or Twice Baked Squash

Use Carnival (multi colored) Squash and Buttercup Squash. Cut Buttercup in half. Take stem off Carnival Squash and turn it upside down. Cut off top (which is really the bottom) Remove seeds from all squash. Arrange cut side down on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 1 hour at 350*

Cool until able to handle. Scoop out squash and mix together. Add brown sugar, butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Fill the Carnival Squash heaping full, with mixture. Bake at 350* until hot.

This can be made ahead of time and baked prior to serving. This makes a festive decoration for the table. Other squash types can be used depending on your tastes, or what is available.

Tip: Don't overcook the squash, you are using for the serving shell. It needs to hold its shape!

Country Apple Pie

Pie Crust

Mix 1 1/2 cup flour and 8 heaping tbs. of Crisco until crumbly. Add 1/4 cup water. Mix slightly until it holds together. Roll out 1/2 the dough for the bottom and 1/2 for the top.

In a separate bowl combine:
8 cups of peeled and sliced apples (for a small pie use 6 cups)
1 cup sugar (for a small pie use 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup flour (for a small pie use 1/4 cup flour)
2 tsp. cinnamon (for a small pie use 1 tsp. cinnamon)
3 tbs. butter (for a small pie use 2 tbsp. butter)
a dash of salt

Fill pie crust. Slit top to create vents in crust. Bake at 350* for about one hour or until lightly brown in color and apples are bubbly.

Note: You may brush top of pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar, and/or cinnamon.