I brought dessert to a party a couple weeks ago and everyone asked for the recipe, so here it is. :-)
For a 10" tart (plus some left-over pastry):
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 125g sugar
- 250g flour
- 125g butter
- 2 or 3 ripe pears (d'Anjou or Bartlett)
- ground cinnamon
- almond powder or thin almond slivers (optional)
Prepare the pâte sablée pastry as follows:
- Beat the egg, salt, and sugar in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, until they become foamy and turn to a pale yellow. (Note: why use a stand mixer when you can have a free workout?)
- Sift all the flour at once over the egg and sugar mix. Start mixing slowly with the wooden spoon, then use your fingers to mix all the ingredients. Rub small amounts of dough between your fingers or hands to turn the mix into a grainy "sand." (Pâte sablée means "sanded dough.")
- Cut the butter into small parcels. If the butter is very cold, heat up in the microwave for a few seconds. Add to the mix and knead the dough with your hands very briefly, then form a ball. The dough should come off of your hands easily (add a little bit of flour if needed), but it remains a little sticky.
- (If the dough feels really soft, or you are making this recipe on a hot summer day, or in a warm kitchen, you may want to cool down the dough in the fridge for a while. This step is optional.)
- Roll out the pie crust on floured parchment paper down to 3-4 mm in thickness. Press into the bottom of a 10" pie dish (mine is metallic). Punch a few holes in the crust with a fork.
- Bake the crust at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 15-20 minutes. It should remain pale.
Cut two ripe, juicy pears into quarters. D'Anjou and Bartlett (Williams) work great for this. Peel and core, then slice thinly. Arrange the pear slices on the pre-baked pie crust, either in circles on in rows.
Dust with cinnamon (just a tad), then add a few tiny bits of butter and optionally sprinkle with almond powder (1-2 TBSP) or almond slivers. Bake for about 10 minutes at 350ºF (180ºC).
I brought a 10" tart to the party, but for the picture, I made the same recipe again, using my daughter's bakeware: mini pie dish, mini utensils... And we made animal cookies with the rest of the dough. They were delicious.