I love learning new recipes when I travel, and this is one that I picked up on a trip to Spain. We enjoyed it at a bustling street cafe somewhere in Barcelona and I had to bring the recipe home with me. The texture is light and creamy, and the pears give it just the right amount of sweetness. Its a perfect dessert after a heavy meal, or on a warm summer night!
It works best with super-ripe pears. The ones that have gone uneaten for a few days too long and are soft and almost squishy - once they're baked they burst with pear flavor. Its good with normally ripe pears, but waiting the extra day or two is definitely worth it if you have the time!
Spanish Pear Tarte
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar, plus a few spoonfuls
Turbinado sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a saucepan with water, add a few spoonfuls of sugar, and bring it to a boil.
Peel and core the pears, and slice them in half lengthwise. Rub them with lemon slices, and add the pears to the boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes and remove the pears.
Prepare the baking dish - I like to use my favorite large shallow ceramic tarte pan - by buttering the surface.
Beat together the eggs and milk in a large bowl.
In another bowl, combine the flour and sugar.
Little by little, whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture. We want to keep lumps to a minimum, so add slowly and whisk away!
Pour the batter into the baking dish, and add the pear halves - face down (so the curved side is up). Try to arrange them evenly, with the narrow (stem) side of the pear toward the center for a pretty end result!
Cook the tarte for about 40 minutes, until it is nice and puffy and beautifully golden.
Remove it from the oven, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar if you'd like.
The tarte will sink a few minutes after it comes out of the oven, and is a light, healthy dessert!
Bonus: When you're done boiling the pears, you can use the leftover water as a pear-flavored syrup great for making a pear tea or to flavor plain yoghurt. Or, leave it to cool and use it to water your garden.
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