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Ever wish you could have two desserts? You can, with a slice of this refreshing pear tart exquisitely followed by a glass of Greenwood Ridge Vineyards Late Harvest White Riesling.
A Prelude to Late White Harvest Riesling
1 11" tart pan lined with a short crust dough (pre-baked)
4 - 5 peeled, semi-ripe, firm pears (Bosc pears are great)
1 qt. water
1 Lb. + 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 each lemon and grapefruit (throw in the juice and the rind)
2 - 3 whole cloves
2 Tbs. sesame oil
1 pint milk
2 - 3 star anise cloves
1 stalk of lemongrass, crushed using the ball of a large knife blade
1 1/2" ginger root, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbs. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 pint heavy cream (whipped)
black sesame seeds
Equipment: Measuring cups and spoons, blender, 2 stainless steel bowls, whisk, large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, a mixer is optional for whipping cream.
(Try adding 1/8 cup of black sesame seeds into the short crust recipe.) Poach the pears in the water, 1 lb. of sugar, lemon and grapefruit, cloves and sesame oil until tender but firm. Cool and refrigerate.
Infuse the milk with the star anise, lemongrass and ginger and bring to a boil and strain. Combine 1/3 cup of sugar, vanilla, cornstarch, salt and eggs. Slowly add the hot milk to the mixture while whisking. Bring it to a boil on medium heat until the pastry cream begins to thicken. Keep stirring. Cook for 30 seconds longer and then pour it into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to cool. Refrigerate until cold then fold in the whipped cream.
Quarter the pears, core and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Fill the tart shell with the cream mixture and fan out the pear slices on top. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds and refrigerate.