Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tarte Meringuee aux Poires Caramelisees

Yikes....I guess I have been busy but I can’t believe I overlooked my lesson for Tarte Meringuee aux Poires Caramelisees! Said another way, Meringue Tart of Caramelized Pears. This was a fabulous practical, tasting like something between a dacquoise and a tarte tatin and the results were absolutely delicious!

Since I am already so late with this one, I’ll be brief. The recipe consists of a sweet pastry shell which is filled with chunks of pears and topped with an almond meringue finish. Before adding to the shell, the pears are sautéed in butter, sugar and a touch of pear eau de vie until they are beautifully caramelized. So when all the different textures and flavours are combined, you get a caramelly, meringuey center on a tender base that tastes a bit like fine shortbread.

The most challenging part of this recipe is managing the meringue. Simply stated, once you begin to add the flour and almonds to it, the volume depletes very quickly. By the time I finished piping out the top of the tart, the foamy mass had almost totally liquefied. So this one relies on accurate handling (and speed!!) to make sure it isn’t totally deflated by the time you reach the baking process.

But wow…what a taste! Everyone at work loved it! Once baked, the tart was surprisingly totable and travelled the distance on TGV without any visible loss of quality. It will be one I try at home, maybe with a change of fruit such as mangoes or peaches. If I could offer one critique it was that the contents looked a bit monotone when the tart was sliced, everything looking a bit beige, so I am thinking that a brighter choice of fruit would improve this. Watch this space…

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