This tart would be good as part of a fancy tea menu, although I mostly packed it for lunch and ate it along with cold soup. Are you noticing the packed lunch theme across the recent posts here? That is because I have been working very long days for the last two months teaching, rehearsing and performing. I am tired, but also very happy with all of the projects that I have been working on. One of them was puppeteering in Jane Henson’s Nativity Story which will air on CBS at 11:30 (EST) on Christmas Eve. I normally perform for live theater, not TV so this is very new for me, but I enjoyed being a part of it very much!
This tart is easy to make. I made the crust one night and then left it languishing in my fridge for 4 days before making the filling. It was fine. The filling part only takes about half an hour from start to finish. It is both beautiful and odd-looking. You do not have to make it in a rectangular tart tin, but I did like the way it looked. This tart is delicious and, as tarts go, really quite nutritious. I made this recipe up, because I remain obsessed with black sesame desserts two months after getting home from Taiwan and I picked up a jar of black sesame paste at an Asian grocery recently.
Also, I know that pears are technically no longer in season, but I had many, many pears left over from making Pear Sambuca Pie and Parsnip Pear Whip for Thanksgiving. They were not used because they were not ripe. They took a long time to ripen. The last of them went into this tart a full two weeks after having been purchased for Thanksgiving. Poaching is a good ay to deal with a stubborn pear. You WILL become soft and sweet, even if I have to simmer you in sugar and wine to make it so!!!!!!!
BLACK SESAME AND GINGER POACHED PEAR TART (GLUTEN-FREE)
- 1 gluten-free tart crust (recipe below)
- 3 cups white wine
- a large knob of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 cup honey or 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 ripe but firm Bartlett or Anjou pear
- the juice and zest of one lemon
- 1/3 cup black sesame paste
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey (depending on how sweet you like your tart)
- Combine the white wine, fresh ginger and cup of honey (or 2/3 cup sugar) in a sauce pan. Heat over medium flame and stir occasionally until the sugar or honey is dissolved.
- Meanwhile, peel the pear and slice it in half. Cut out the core and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- Add the pear, lemon juice and lemon zest to the poaching liquid. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the pear becomes translucent on the edges. Remove the pear halves and let them cool a bit.
- Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup black sesame paste with 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey and beat it until it is smooth. Spread in the bottom of the tart crust.
- Thinly slice the pears and arrange them on top of the tart. Serve at room temperature.
GLUTEN-FREE TART CRUST
- 1 cup brown rice mix (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (no you can’t skip this)
- 5 Tablespoons cold butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a medium bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.
- Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to combine the butter and the flour until it is crumbly.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a small tart pan. I used a 14 x 3 inch tart pan.
- Bake in the center of the oven until golden (about 18 minutes).
RICE FLOUR MIX
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 2/3 cups potato starch (NOT POTATO FLOUR)
- 1/3 cup Tapioca flour