Saturday, February 28, 2009

Red Wine Pear & Plum Tart with Walnut Crust

This recipe was created by me and got great reviews from both my roommates and my book club.

2 cups flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup light brown sugar
12 T cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg yolk

2/3 cup cabernet sauvignon or other dry red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 T grated lemon rind or 1.5 T lemon juice
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice
1 lb plums, prune or red plums, each cut into 6 thick slices*
1 lb pears, preferably Bosc pears, cored and thinly sliced*

* you can also use all plums or all pears - you could even try apples or another firm fruit

To prepare filling, combine wine and granulated sugar in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium. Add lemon rind or juice, cinnamon, allspice, and fruit to pan, stirring to coat; simmer for 15 minutes or until the fruit is tender.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the crust, combine flour, walnuts, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix, either by hand (using your fingertips) or with an electric mixer, until crumbly.

Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform or tart pan. Spoon fruit mixture onto crust, draining off the liquid as you go (you don't want the tart to be soggy). Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the fruit.

Bake the tart for 40 or 50 minutes, or until it's lightly browned and the juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate.

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