Pear and Gorgonzola Tart

by angelika on December 27, 2010

I hope everyone had a nice Holiday. We had a lovely time with our immediate family this year, which was perfect after a hectic build up to the break. We are all on vacation this week, and getting ready to start a new year. I have a few last recipes to post that are from the holidays, then we will mosey on into January which is always a time of purity and reflection for me. I feel I need to give my body a chance to heal from all the sugar and flour and decadence of the holidays. We still have one last celebration to go, New Years Eve. Perhaps you are looking for the perfect thing to serve along with your bubbly. I think this tart is a real contender.

Pear and Gorgonzola Tart
6-8 shallots, sliced in thin rounds
2-3 TBS butter
3 bosc pears, peeled and cored
8 oz crumbled gorgonzola 
juice of half a lemon 
This recipe is so easy it almost makes itself, especially if you have an extra pie crust laying around. You only need half of the crust from the basic pie crust recipe. So either make two tarts, or freeze the other half. I have said it before, and I will probably say it again, having extra pie crust in the freezer is always a huge time saver.  
To begin, caramelize the shallots. I don’t know what it is about shallots, but chopping them is torturous for me. Now, I am an onion wimp, to be sure. Even a pretty mild onion will have me ruining my mascara, but shallots seem to be the queen tear jerker of the family. Clearly I need to cast aside my vanity and begin wearing goggles in the kitchen. You want thin rounds, and you cook them in butter slowly until the turn into gooey shallot jam, a special kind of divinity all to itself. 
Set the shallots aside to cool. Roll out the pastry crust.  I used a round tart pan for this tart. If you want to blind bake it, and I am still not sure it matters on these, cover the tart with parchment paper or buttered foil and fill with beans. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes, remove beans and prick the crust with a fork several times, bake for 10 more minutes. 
Spread the shallots over the bottom of the pan. Fill with crumbled gorgonzola to your preference. You can use very little and still get a great effect since it is such a strong cheese. You can also use a lot, but be prepared for a pretty salty bite. Not that salty is always a bad thing. 

Peel and core the pears, Bosc are really the best for baking. I use a melon baller to core the pear, and I think it woks like kitchen magic. Then you can slice the pears however you desire, I was trying a new pattern with this tart, kind of like a rose.  Not sure I love it, but that is what experimenting is all about. Toss the pears with a few TBS of lemon juice before you place them on the tart, to prevent browning. 

Bake at 400º for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the pears are golden. You can serve this tart warm, or room temperature. 
A votre santé! 

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