When I first learned how to make it during a cooking class given by Helen's Kitchen, I proclaimed it the "best" fruit-based dessert I had ever had. (I also highly recommend taking a class with Helen. I've taken quite a few of them!)
This dessert starts with a pate brisee crust. I've used this crust for numerous recipes and I love how flaky the crust comes out. I have always been disappointed by store-bought pie crusts for their tastelessness, but this recipe is full of flavor.
First, butter is cut into pieces and put in the freezer for ten minutes. This crust has a flaky texture because the butter is not allowed to melt while the dough is being made.
Ice water ensures that all the ingredients stay cold. A small amount of vinegar is also added.
After the mixer has combined the ingredients, the mixture is poured onto a flat surface where it is kneaded together very quickly (again, so the butter does not melt).
This recipe makes two crusts. They are refrigerated for an hour before they are used.
For the pear tart, butter and sugar are melted in a frying pan.
The sliced pears are placed in a circle and sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice and Cognac. Using Bosc pears is also important to this recipe, as they hold their firmness during the baking process.
After the dough is rolled out, it is formed around the cooled pears that are still in the frying pan.
The result is an amazing tart!