Thursday, March 8, 2012

Riesling Poached Pear Tart with Chai Spiced Custard & Almond Crust


P. came home from work the other day with the tiniest most adorable little pears for me.

"A co-worker enjoys your blog and picked these for you." he smiled as he held them proudly for me to admire.

"Really?" I asked incredulously.  "I've never  met this person and they thought to bring  some pears for me?"

Is that not what just makes all those small moments of life so curiously entertaining and heart warming?  Isn't that just the best of human nature?

With these little graceful pale green pears in hand, I wondered what I might make that would  celebrate these little gifts.

In mere minutes, my mind travelled through the world of recipes and photos in this marvelous family of food photographers.  I easily landed at this visual gift of a blog here.  I'm sure most all of you have seen this most serene and ethereal of food blogs ~ Roost.  

A sweet petite poached pear tart with Chai spiced custard it would be.  Something whimsical and pretty.

Have you peered at pear leaves up close?  They are beautiful little pieces of art work...with little shimmers of stained glass texture.  Next time you see some pears, look closely, you'll be surprised at the beauty discreetly woven into  the tiny slender leaves.

What an interesting recipe this turned out to be.  The almond crust forms wonderfully to the tart mold and bakes beautifully.  The aroma of toasting almonds is a heady scent.

The pears steeped in Riesling wine and poached with vanilla, cinnamon, and honey also have to be one of the most lovely scents that can fill a home. 

The Chai custard presented gentle and exotic  flavors for us.  My local Whole Foods was out of the ingredient 'cocoa butter' that day so I used butter.  I am curious to make the custard with it to know how different it would be in texture and taste.

Enjoy!  I know we're on the opposite side of fall but I couldn't resist!

(adapted from the lovely Roost blog)

Almond Tart Crust

3 cups Almond Flour
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted ghee (or butter or oil of your choice)
2 TBSP water
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Grease a 13x5 rectangular tart pan and form the crust with the dough. 

Bake at 350˚ F for 15 minutes or until edges are slightly golden brown.

Riesling Poached Pears

5 cups water
3 cups Riesling, or sweet white wine of choice
3 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla pod (reserve seeds for chai custard)
1/2 cup honey
4 slightly firm but ripe Bosc pears (you could use any pear of your choice)

Place all ingredients except for pears in a stock pot and bring to a bowl. Meanwhile peel the pears (I left the stem on for presentation) and cut in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife remove the core and bottom. Once liquid is to a boil carefully place pears in liquid and reduce to medium heat. Cook pears for 45 minutes to an hour or until very tender. 

Chai Custard

6 TBSP cocoa butter ( Roost recommends:  Artisana Raw Cacao Butter at Whole Foods. Each block is 3 TBSP. DO NOT USE the cocoa butter found in the lotion/beauty aisle)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
2 whole star anise (I searched but couldn't find whole anise so this was omitted from my recipe)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cloves
pinch of ground all spice
5 egg yolks
vanilla seeds (scraped from the vanilla pod used in the poached pears)

Place honey and water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add cocoa butter, star anise and spices. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Discard star anise and return pot to heat. Bring to a simmer and add the egg yolks stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Stir and stir some more until the custard coats the back of the spoon and when you run your finger across it leaves a streak. Be sure to not overcook!!

Remove from heat, pour custard into a metal or glass bowl, stir in vanilla seeds and place in the fridge (the freezer will expedite this process). The custard will thicken significantly as it cools. After 30-45 minutes or so the custard should be set (less time if put in the freezer). When serving you do not want the custard to be super cold and definitely not frozen so as soon as it thickens take it out and pour in tart shell. 

To assemble:

Fill tart shell with custard and place the poached pears on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve. 


  1. Awesome Recipe Dear..Bookmarking it to try soon..


  2. That probably tastes heavenly. Your food is always presented like a work of art.

  3. Beautiful!!!!
    Sarah your food and pictures makes me so happy,
    I love it always and I am sure you know that....

  4. Beautiful tart, and that crust does look special. I was just reading a recipe on the back of my hazelnut flour for a similar crust, I guess you could use any nut. I love the shape of your tart pan, too. Lucky you to get such a surprise gift!

  5. What a lovely post! And what a great way for someone to say "thanks" for all the inspiration you offer. I love the flavor combination - and your tart is so pretty, too.

    My neighbor across the street, who has seen my blog, thinks I run a catering business, so he asked me to cater an event for him. I'm honored to have the chance, but think it's funny that he doesn't realize that this is how we eat.

    I love to study your photos - it's fun to see how much I've improved over the past 2 years - of course, getting a new camera is part of the reason.

  6. How thoughtful! Though I'm not surprised that all kinds of people are fond of your blog. It's so beautiful.

    Must try this tart!


  7. Oh Sarah,what a great view!
    I love your photos and dishes.

  8. What a sweet gift from a stranger! You've done a lovely job with the pears- the crust looks amazing and I really must give it a try. Beautiful!

  9. Your use of light in pictures is amazing. Another beautiful post. :)

  10. Goodness, these all look like Dutch still-life paintings. Absolutely lovely -- I'd say you did those pears pretty proud.

  11. This is perfect for our fall weather! (We are in Australia!)

    Lovely photos. You have created a wonderful mood here.

  12. I can imagine how flattered you were when you received these adorable little pears; you deserve it--your blog is lovely. And so is this tart. So gorgeous!

  13. I'm increasingly becoming envious of your prop collection. LOVELY!

  14. Pears really are a work of art and you have showcased them beautifully here.

  15. Your photos are stunning! This pear looks delicious! I'd love a slice!

  16. This is such an amasing way of serving pears! I love it!
    Funny, I wrote about pears as well:)
    Have a great day!

  17. This is absolutely beautiful. I love the concept of the chai custard.

  18. Oh my god..such a mouthwatering looks just awesome...vl try 4 sure....

  19. What an absolutely gorgeous tart. This is a lovely and creative creation! Great job on it and thanks for sharing.

  20. beautiful.. i love how the ingredients came from a fan.. how special is that! it must have been very inspiring.

  21. I love your photos, they are a little dark, but I think it really makes them feel rustic. Beautiful! And I'm sure the combination of almond, pear, and chai is perfect! Sweet, spicy, and savory!

  22. gorgeous! I bought a box of Sugar Pear..tiny little cute things. They would be perfect for this tart!

  23. Holy Moly!! Those images are completely gorgeous. You have mad skills, my friend!

  24. Those are such beautiful little pears! It's a shame to be eating them!

  25. Beautiful...absolutely scrumptilicious (is that a word??) post!!!

  26. This is so utterly beautilful, how nice to bring you some pears. and i am in love with the sound of chai spiced custard, yum. what an ingenious idea :)

  27. What a stunning tart! And as always, such beautiful photos!

  28. This pear tart looks decadent. Love the flavor combination!

  29. Gorgeous recipe! I love the way it looks with the pears left whole. Lovely! And what a recipe too. Yum.

  30. so amazingly good! yay pear season! lovely work.

  31. Thanks for these recipes for riesling peach pear tart with chai spiced and almond crust. The photos are gorgeous.

  32. Absolutely delicious and perfect for the cool Autumn days we've been having. We often get little baby pears like these from my fiance's family farm. They are an absolute delight to cook with. Your gorgeous take on Roost's recipe has given me even more of an excuse to bring some home!

  33. Oh my - pears, chai and riesling, this tart is pure heaven! I need to try it ASAP! By the way, your blog is really beautiful!

  34. you stole this from another blog!! atleast give credit

    1. It's comments like yours that are so telling about your character. The blog, "Roost" from which this recipe was taken was acknowledged, linked, flattered, given credit...3 times in this article. It would have helped you to read the article before rushing to criticize.


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