If the appearance of this tart leaves you a bit intimidated, don't worry. This tart
is so easy to make, and it is difficult to screw up. Come on, give it a try!
When I first saw the image of this tart in a Williams-Sonoma cookbook, I thought
it looked delicious. There was no way my tart would look that good, but maybe
it would taste alright. I jumped in with both feet and made the tart. And by golly,
short of the industrial fluorescent lighting designed for a garage in our kitchen
and an Iphone for a camera, I think it doesn't look half bad in comparison to the
Step 1: The recipe, and the backstory...
The recipe for this wonderful tart was found in a Williams-Sonoma book
entitled 'Simple Classics Cookbook' from Chuck Williams' personal recipes.
Thank you, Chuck!
For the crust:
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of cake flour (I used 'Soft-as-Silk' brand)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes, refrigerated
2 or 3 tablespoons of ice cold water
For the poaching bath:
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups of cold water
3 Bosc pears - ripe, but not too overripe, or too firm
(You may also use Comice pears)
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup of apricot preserves
1 cup walnut pieces
Whipped cream or ice cream (optional)
Okay, let's get cooking. Or, if you want the rest of the story, keep reading.
This recipe was found in a wonderful cookbook for which I paid a mere quarter
at a yard sale! There have been many yard sale signs that tempted me to keep
driving, keep looking, surely I was getting close to the location. Usually, after driving
five miles, you find yourself in the middle of Podunk, where someone threw an
impromptu yard sale sign up and tossed clothes out on the grass. You know, one
of those 'why bother' sales. The kind of sale where nothing is priced, which always
makes me think the seller will determine the price of an item with a perceived idea of your
income based on your appearance. Always dress like a slob for such occasions.
This yard sale was different. I actually drove. And drove. And kept driving. Mind you, this
was early in the morning, before a work day. When I finally arrived at the address that
even my GPS didn't recognize, it was well worth the drive. It was a massive sale, one of the finest
collections a bargain hunter could hope for. Or a hoarder's worst nightmare.
Immediately, I hurried to the book section (though at this point, my hurrying was
due more to the fact that I should be on my way to work...) to find several large boxes full of books.
The seller said the books were one dollar each, but if I took a few, she would make me a deal.
I selected an armload of books and approached the checkout. Three women exchanged
glances as if they didn't know what to charge. "Two fifty." I calmly pulled out two dollars, trying to
quell my inner excitement, searching for a third dollar in the bottomless pit of a purse I
carry. Either I was taking too long, or the other customers felt sorry for me, as several
people offered the remaining fifty cents of my balance. Embarrassed, I said that I had more
money, but I was trying to find a dollar that did not have banana stickers all over it.
(Long story, maybe next time. Keep your eye out for a banana-related Instructable, perhaps?)
The books were loaded into the car, I drove off, and let out a squeal of delight. With the car
windows up. Not only did I make it to work on time, but I was filled with glee over my newfangled
treasures! Books are wonderful. But cookbooks are divine!