Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TWD: Fold Over Pear Torte

Fold Over Pear Torte

Cakelaw Laws of the Kitchen selected Fold-Over Pear Torte for us to bake this week. A creamy custard filling is packed with sweet, ripe pears, dried apricots, and a few nuts for crunch, then everything is folded into a flaky pie crust resulting in a really lovely autumn dessert.

The creamy custard filling reminded us of Mimi Jr.'s favorite dessert, Pear Pepper Pie, but the heat of the pepper was replace by tangy sweet apricots. Pears are another fall favorite at our house, for eating and baking, so we were excited to try a new pear recipe.  

Fold Over Pear Torte
Dorie Greenspan Baking from my home to yours 

1/3 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 large, ripe but firm pears
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup finely diced moist, plump dried apricots or moist, plump golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons (~25g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup heavy cream (I used light cooking cream)
confectioners (icing) sugar, for dusting

Prepare an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan with pastry dough:
Once the dough has chilled, roll it out between pieces of wax paper, into a 14 inch round. Place the rolled dough, still in between the paper or cling film, onto a baking tray, and refrigerate for 20 minutes:
Generously butter an 8or 9 inch round spring form pan. Take the dough out of the fridge, remove the top piece of paper or film, and turn the round of dough, bare side down, into the spring form pan. Remove the rest of the paper or film, then gently press the dough into the pan so that it is flat against the bottom. Next, press the sides of the dough up against the sides of the pan. Do this by turning the pan on its side and turn the pan as you press down the dough. The dough will pleat and may even crack. This is OK - just press the cracks together.
Once your pan is lined with dough, cover it and put it back in the fridge to chill while you make the filling and preheat the oven. Line a baking sheet big enough to hold your spring form pan with a piece of baking paper or a silicone mat.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Peel and core the pears, then cut them into 1/4 inch cubes. Put them in a medium bowl, and toss them with the lemon juice to prevent darkening. Stir in the zest, apricots (or raisins) and nuts:
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until they thicken (~ 3 minutes). Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the rum and extracts. Still with the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated. Last, add the melted butter, then the cream, mixing only until the batter is homogenous.
Remove the chilled dough in the pan from the fridge, and place it on the lined baking sheet. Spoon the fruit into the bottom of the pan, then pour over the batter, stopping when you have 1/2 to 1 inch of crust extending above the batter. Don't overfill the crust - you may have some batter left over. Using your fingertips, gently push the dough down over the filling in a ruffle towards the centre of the torte. Don't push the dough into the batter:
There should be space between the filling and the crust, as the filling will rise to fill the gap.
Put the torte in the preheated oven, and lower the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit/ gas mark 4. Bake the torte for 60-70 minutes, or until the crust is browned and a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean. Check the torte after it has been baking for 40 minutes or so, and if the crust is getting too brown, cover the torte with a foil tent for the remainder of the baking time.
Remove the baked torte from the oven, and allow it to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Just before serving, run a knife around the outside of the torte to ensure it hasn't stuck to the pan, then remove the sides of the pan: dust with powdered sugar. 
printable recipe

To see what the other TWD  bakers thought visit our blog roll.