Marcella Hazan reassures in her trademark impassioned tone, “Only an active campaign of sabotage could ruin it,” as if to say, “You can’t possibly screw this up, you donkey.” With that in mind, I’ve never had as much confidence in trying out a new recipe.
She insists on using Bosc or Anjou pears and singles out Bartlett pears as a mediocre choice. Even with that little tidbit, this pear tart recipe still ranks high on my list of Unfussy and Easy Recipes with High Payoff. It’s the first thing I think of whenever pears are in season.
Before baking, do top with the optional cloves, or failing that, maybe a cinnamon stick or two. The addition of whole spices adds so much with so little effort.
recipe adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
“A Farm Wife’s Fresh Pear Tart”
makes one 9-inch tart, about 6 servings
Bosc, Red Anjou, and Green Anjou Pears
a 9-inch round cake pan, greased with butter and dusted lightly with bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 pounds fresh pears, preferably Bosc or Anjou (about 5 to 6)
butter for dotting the tart
12 whole cloves (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Peel the pears, cut in half lengthwise, and core to remove the seeds. Slice the pear halves into thin slivers.
- Beat the eggs and milk in a bowl. Add the sugar and a pinch of salt and continue beating until well-blended.
- Add the flour to the eggs and milk. Mix to form a thick cake batter.
- Add the pears to the batter and mix gently until the slices are evenly coated. Deposit the batter in the greased and dusted cake pan.
- Top evenly with small pieces of butter and whole cloves (if using).
- Bake at 375ºF/190ºC for about 50 minutes, or until the top is well-browned.
- Let the pear tart cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before unmolding.
- Remove and discard the whole cloves (if using) before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.