white chocolate & pear tart, round # 2 – verging on a cheese cake

Much to mel’s distress, I’m posting up yet another recipe that isn’t perfect. Does any one remember the white chocolate & pear tart recipe I posted a few months ago? If not then here is a quick recap.

white chocolate & pear tart

I had a craving for white chocolate & pears, followed a recipe that looked pretty good & in the end I wasn’t satisfied with the results.

(I made the little mini version to keep mel occupied whilst we waited for the big one to cook & cool)

So I’ve been working on it. About once a month I revisit this recipe, each time feeling like I’m closer to reaching what I set out to achieve, & each time coming up with some crucial failure.

Last month when I remade it I tried to make it more like a cheese cake in texture, but not really all that cheesy. For that one I used mascarpone & ricotta. That of course ended up having a somewhat cakey quality to it that I wasn’t particularly happy with at all.

Losing sight slightly of what I wanted, I went back to the drawing board this month and decided to make it more like a cheese cake. So, I took out the ricotta since it gave a grainy texture & put in philadelphia instead.

Now of course it’s more cheesy, but I still just want it smooth & creamy so I think I’m going to have to try it again. Also, the crust needs work. The recipe I have called for bread flour & baking powder, but that gave it a weird texture. The taste was delicious, but the feeling wasn’t right.

So, I’m going to share with you what I’ve got so far…. it’s good, but it’s not amazing. I’m sharing because as I learn & grow, I think sharing my mistakes & success will help others fine solutions that work. Catch my drift?

Don’t get me wrong, the recipe is still delicious….. it’s just doesn’t have the ‘wow’ factor yet. When it’s done, I want people to try it & be hooked!

Ingredients, crust:
– 245g bread flour
– 100g icing sugar
– 1.5g baking powder
– 122g unsalted butter, cold & cubed
– 62g eggs
– 35g almond meal

Directions, crust:
1. for the pie crust, combine the flour & butter in a blender & whiz quickly until it resembles sand.
2. transfer it to a bowl & add in the rest of the dry ingredients, quickly mix.
3. add in the eggs & form the dough.
4. wrap the dough in several layers of plastic wrap & then refrigerate for 4 hours.
5. preheat oven to 165C
6. remove dough, roll out & cover a 22cm spring-form cake tin.
7. blind bake the tart shells for 12 minutes, then remove the parchment & baking weights & continue to bake until lightly golden. Remove from oven & allow to cool.

Ingredients, pear:
– 375ml white wine
– 125ml cup water
– 250g sugar
– 1 vanilla bean, sliced down the middle
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 2 wiliams pears

Directions, pears:
1. to prepare the pears combine all the ingredients minus the pears themselves in a pot & bring it to a boil.
2. peel & core the pears, then chop them into 1in² cubes or larger.
3. poach the pears for 5 minutes in the wine mixture & then remove and drain. Set aside.

Ingredients, filling:
– 200g mascarpone
– 200g cream cheese
– 200g white chocolate
– 2 tbs flour
– 175g sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 egg yolk
– tsp vanilla

Directions, filling & assembly:
1. melt the white chocolate carefully in a double boiler & then set aside.
2. lightly beat the eggs in a bowl along with the sugar, once combined & the rest of the ingredients & beat until smooth.
3. gently fold in the pears.
4. pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust.
5. bake for 1.5 hours @ 170°C or until the centre stop wobbling.
6. allow to cool before serving.

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