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Spiced Maple Tart with Poached Pears
- Peel pears, leaving stems intact. Cut pears in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller or small spoon to remove cores from pears. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine apple juice, the water, maple syrup, and maple extract. Bring to boiling. Add pear halves. Return liquid to simmering. Simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until pears are just tender. Remove from heat and transfer the pears and poaching liquid to a bowl; cool slightly. Cover; chill for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For crust, in a food processor process pecans until finely ground. Add flour and powdered sugar; process to combine. Add cold butter. Cover and process with on/off turns until mixture forms fine crumbs. Dough will look dry. Press mixture onto the bottom and 1-1/2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the crust with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes more or until edge is lightly browned and bottom looks dry. Cool on a wire rack.
- For filling, in a heavy medium saucepan combine the granulated sugar, the 2 tablespoons cornstarch, the salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Add half-and-half; stir to combine. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into beaten eggs. Return all of the egg mixture to the saucepan. Stir in ginger. Cook and stir until bubbly. Reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Place saucepan in a large bowl of ice water. Stir the mixture for 2 minutes to cool quickly.
- Pour filling into baked crust, spreading evenly. Cover surface with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or until firm.
- Remove chilled pears from poaching liquid; set aside. For glaze, transfer 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid to a small saucepan. Discard remaining poaching liquid. Add the 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch to the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a small bowl; cover with plastic wrap; cool to room temperature.
- To assemble, just before serving slice pear halves to but not through the top to form fans. Arrange the pear fans in the center of the tart to form a circle, placing the stem ends in the center of the tart. Drizzle cooled glaze evenly over top of tart.
- Using a sharp thin knife, loosen crust from side of pan. Remove side of pan before serving.
From the Test Kitchen
Prepare as directed, except chill for up to 24 hours in Steps 1 and 4.
Nutrition Facts (Spiced Maple Tart with Poached Pears)
- Per serving:
- 375 kcal cal.,
- 21 g fat
- (10 g sat. fat,
- 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
- 7 g monounsatured fat),
- 84 mg chol.,
- 161 mg sodium,
- 43 g carb.,
- 2 g fiber,
- 25 g sugar,
- 5 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet