Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grilled Pear and Mascarpone Tart

This actually started as an attempt at making mascarpone cheese (which was super easy and infinitely less expensive than the store-bought variety). There are few things in the world that cannot be made better with cheese. Alright, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but I'm okay with that. Cheese is awesome.

While I could sit with a bowl of mascarpone and a spoon and be a happy woman, I think that that would be a considerably boring post. I didn't want to make another risotto, so I wasn't going to use the mascarpone to thicken it. I wasn't in the mood for tiramisu. So, I went to the farmer's market in search of inspiration.

Inspiration came in the form of some beautiful red and green Anjou pears...

Grilled Pear and Mascarpone Tart

3-4 red and green Anjou pears
500 mL mascarpone cheese
1 lemon
3 tablespoons honey
Graham crumb crust (I made it nearly according to the package's directions with the exception of the addition of some lemon zest and sprinkling of cinnamon.)

First, make your crust. Like I said, I made a typically graham crumb crust with some lemon zest (about 1/3 to 1/2 of the lemon) and a sprinkling of cinnamon. The crust just seemed too boring on its own otherwise.

Then, the slicing of the pears. I chose two red and two green pears, so that I could alternate the colours on the tart... probably the most intentional purely aesthetic choice that I have made in a while. Heat a grill pan to high heat, then sear the pear slices for a minute or two on each side. I wanted the pears to maintain a certain amount of crispness but also wanted to caramelize those sugars... a balance not too hard to achieve, just keep an eye on the pears while they are cooking. Grill, then set aside.

Flavour the mascarpone with two tablespoons of the honey, lemon juice (juice half the lemon, then taste to see if you want to add the rest) and lemon zest.

Spread the mascarpone over the tart shell. Arrange the pear slices over the tart. I alternated between red and green, using the largest slices near the edge and the smaller slices as I moved to the centre.

Heat the remaining honey in the microwave until it is liquid. Glaze the pears with the honey. 

Chill until ready to serve... (I made the mistake of letting the tart sit out one time and the crust doesn't always hold in the warmth... so best to avoid that risk.)


Now, if you would like to attempt to make mascarpone, as I did, here are some great posts that helped me. I may write my own homemade mascarpone post as some point but that is for another day (I'm not overly happy with my photos this time... that's what you get for making mascarpone at 11pm!). All it takes is whipping cream and lemon...

(But I did like how this one turned out!)

4 thought(s):

The Housewife said...

I'm so amazed and impressed that you made your own marscapone cheese! I love the combination of the pears with the cheese and honey…yum!

Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet said...

What a terrific combination - I bet it was amazing!

Cristina - Teenie Cakes said...

How did your mascarpone turn out? Delicious tart with the grilled pears and homemade mascarpone!

Isabelle said...

I've never made my own mascarpone before... hell, I had no idea it could even be done! Now I'm eagerly awaiting the homemade mascarpone post, so that I can try it out. :)
I made a really similar tart last year with a store-bought ricotta base. I can just imagine how awesome it would be using homemade cheese.

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