Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!



A couple of weeks ago my sister-in-law Stephanie mentioned a pie she'd heard advertised on the radio that really appealed to her. It was an Apple Pear Chardonnary Pie. A week or so later when I was planning what to bring to their house for Thanksgiving dessert, I decided I would look for a recipe for something similar. Only problem was, what I remembered her saying was pear and hazelnut.

So I went looking on the web and found a number of recipes for pear and hazelnut tarts. I was thinking, "boy, this seems to be the flavor pairing of the moment". In fact, I found a bakery review that talked about the most popular item being the pear and hazelnut tart. I settled on a recipe for Hazelnut Frangipane Pear Tart which I originally found on an Australian recipe site, but I've linked to the Food Network recipe, which I found when looking for the Pate Sable recipe and which I think is the original.

As Bob said, when I was describing what had happened, this was serendipity. I went looking for something I thought I'd remembered (but I hadn't) and never would have dreamed up on my own (but I did) and found a really wonderful recipe that I will surely make again.

The recipe is not that difficult. The pate sable is easy to work with and making the frangipane is a snap. The hardest part is neatly slicing the pears and the most nerve-wracking part is removing the still hot tart from the pan (you must remove the ring and the bottom). I did lose one good-sized chunk of crust during this exercise, but I stuck it back on with a little jam and you could hardly tell.

This was my first experience with frangipane and I am sold! This variation using hazelnuts is really wonderful - the toasted hazelnuts are so fragrant and the roasted pears on top are the perfect complement to the sweet, nutty confection below. A nice little touch in this recipe is the thin layer of raspberry jam between the crust and the frangipane.

You know what the best part was? Stephanie bought that Apple Pear Chardonnary Pie - but she liked my tart better! :)

15 comments:

Nic said...

Oh my, Cathy. That looks stunning!

cannella said...

Hi, Cathy! I'm italian but I live in Spain, in Salamanca, a city with an important university and a lot of american students in its programmes of spanish as foreign language. My husband is a professor at the university and every year he celebrate the Thanksgivig with his student. I LOVE this celebration and your gastronomy in this occasion. I'm impatiently waiting for this cake's recipe! Muchos besos

Cathy said...

Hi Nic - thanks! I have to admit I was thrilled with how it turned out. It was pretty and delicious!

Hi Cannella - I'm not sure how traditional this is for Thanksgiving, but with pears and hazelnuts it certainly is seasonal. I love the traditional foods for this holiday too - though I expect you'll find many different ideas of what is traditional! We usually have turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, rutabega, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and than pumpkin and/or minced meat pie(s) for dessert. This year we ate out at a restaurant (we just had dessert at my brother and sister-in-law's) and I missed many of my old favorites. I think I'm going to have to buy a big butternut squash this weekend!

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

Happy Thanksgiving to you! That tart looks amazing! I can't believe it was as easy to make as you make it sound. Wonderful photo. =)

Cathy said...

Hi Reid! Happy Thanksgiving to you too and thank you! It really isn't difficult, but it does take a little time and makes a mess in the kitchen (you use the food processor and the mixer). It was worth it though!

Kat said...

Oh boy! That's just gorgeous and destined for Christmas Eve dessert! Thanks, Cathy!

Stephanie said...

Cathy, your tart looks divine; clearly, you did an amazing job!

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

Alice said...

Cathy, it's gorgeous!! Hope you're having a pleasant day after T-Day!!

Nic said...

Hi again, Cathy. I put up a picture of your tart on Slashfood as a "food porn" entry, just fyi!

Nupur said...

What a beautiful dessert! A treat for the eyes...Happy Thanksgiving weekend, Cathy.

J said...

hi cathy, happy thanksgiving! and what a fabulous looking tart - of course everyone preferred it ;)

Cathy said...

Hi Kat - I think you'll really like it - let me know if you do make it!

Hi Stephanie - Thanks so much Stephanie! I did have a very nice Thanksgiving - hope your was great too! I have fallen behind on my blog reading, but I imagine you've got some great posts on your Thanksgiving dinner!

Hi Alice! - Thank you!! I had to work today, but it was a quiet day and I was able to quite a bit done. I have Monday off, so I've got a nice long weekend ahead!

Nic - thanks so much! I didn't realize you wrote for them. Someone there had posted the Greenwich Village Brownies a while back, so I became aware of the site then, but keep forgetting to check it out some more. I'll have to do that now that I know you're involved!

Hi Nupur! Thanks very much! I will enjoy my weekend - you do the same!

Hi Jocelyn! Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. Actually, not everyone tried it. Some were just too stuffed and one of my brothers said he didn't like pears (?!?!?). Oh well - more for the rest of us! :)

T said...

Goodness me, that looks divine! Pear tart is probably my favorite sort of tart, but I've never made it at home- seeing your tart has made me think that I must remedy that immediately! Happy (belated) Thanksgiving, Cathy!

Cathy said...

Hi Tanvi - thanks so much! Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving! You should give it a try - it really is not difficult and is well worth the effort.

pinknest said...

i just made a hazelnut frangipane apricot tart and LOVED it! i think you might, too. yours looks beautiful!