A Pear Tart from Food Stylist Jesse Szewczyk
The beautiful tart above was developed and styled by our friend Jesse Szewczyk. He is a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America and produced this tart and image for us exclusively with photographer Sara Walsh.
Read our full interview with Jesse to learn more about his approach to food, food styling and photography.
This tart features seckel pears but other pears can be used, which Jesse explains in our chat. The rectangular shape is somewhat unexpected but showcases the round fruit so nicely. The pears are nestled in an almond frangipane filling.
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 5 Seckel Pears, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 5 cloves, whole
- ½ cup ground almond meal
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- To make the crust combine sugar, salt, flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Blitz until the butter combines with the dry mixture and resembles wet sand. Add egg and blitz just until combined. Roll dough onto a floured surface and roll into a 6x16 inch rectangle shape. Place in 4x14 inch rectangular tart pan and trim the excess dough from the edges. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour.
- To poach the pears combine water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean and cloves in a medium sized sauce pot. Bring to a simmer and add halved pears. Poach pears in simmering mixture for about 3 minutes until they are tender. Remove pears from poaching liquid and set aside.
- To make the frangipane filling place almond meal, sugar, egg, butter, vanilla extract and flour in the bowl of a food processor. Process mixture until it is completely smooth and silky. Reserve.
- To assemble the tart place frangipane filling in the bottom of the chilled tart shell. Place poached pear halves in the filling and bake for 30 minutes until the tart is golden and fragrant.
The crust was very easy to work with. It tasted ok, a tad on the floury side, I don’t know why. I used unbleached all purpose flour. I don’t have a rectangular pan, used a round one and that worked fine. My seckel pears weren’t sweet, so I sprinkled sugar on them before popping in the over, I also added a glug of cognac to the frangipane. An excellent recipe. Thank you.
The cognac addition sounds divine! Seckel pears can be lacking in flavor at times. Sounds like you improved and improvised.:)