Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chocolate Ganache Pear Tart

After I made the Free-form Blueberry tart a while back I got a bit of a tart itch. Being in Ireland for a long week may have a teensy little bit to do with it too. You saw that I've done a bit of traveling lately, and, like my Shabby Apple was written on vacation, so is this one… the last one was too ;)
Only this time I'm at my sisters hanging (more like having an absolute blast!!!!) with my nieces and their exchange student, that we all want to adopt into the family while my sister and her husband are on vacation.
There were all of these beautiful pears sitting on the counter when I got here, and while they were a little on the hard side and the wrong kind of pear for baking this kind of dessert, I am mostly pleased with the way that it turned out.

It's not a really sweet tart, but you can add more sugar if you want.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 sticks cold butter cut into small pieces
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. ice water

1 1/3 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
2/3 cup Half and Half
2 tsp Butter

3 med Pears
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp light Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 Egg White, slightly beaten

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
(Put a glass bowl and beaters in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before whipping the cream)

Prepare the Pastry In a food processor, combine the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the candied ginger and salt and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Sprinkle on the ice water and pulse just until the pastry starts to come together. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm.

Preheat oven to 425.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 14-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Fold the pastry in half and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. 

Filling Over a double boiler (I just used a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water) melt the chocolate and whisk in the butter and half and half. Turn off the heat so that the chocolate can cool just a bit.
Peel, core and slice the pears to 1/4 in thick. Toss with the lemon juice. Sprinkle in the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon and toss to coat evenly. 

Finish Spread the ganache on the pastry dough leaving about a 1 1/2 in border. (any extras are great for dipping strawberries in!!) Arrange the pears in any way you feel like it, but only on the ganache. Fold up the edge of the crust over the pears. Brush crust edge with the egg whites. (I sprinkled a little brown sugar on it too :)

Bake at 425˚ for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375˚f and bake for 30 more minutes. 

Topping Whip the cream on high until it sets up. Slowly whip in the sugar.

Serve tart warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Bon Appetite!

At the end of the Day:

Ooh, it's been a while! Hello to anyone out there who might be holding out hope that I've not dropped off the face of the earth. ;) Well, I didn't drop off of it, but I have done a bit of traveling! I actually posted my Shabby Apple design while in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland (pronounced Dun Leery).  A bit of an impromptu trip with a very good friend we were on a plane less than six weeks after we first talked about actually going, not just the "someday" that we had talked about for a couple of years. It was incredible! We had real Irish weather, wonderful food, and met some of the most friendly people imaginable, even though we were tourists ;) 
Dublin Castle Gardens, I got a lot of practice with the Macro Setting on my new camera :)

Jenna, one of my dearest friends and my traveling companion for this trip! … she also kept me from doing a lot of stupid things that I'm sure I would have done had she not been there :P

We drove through the Wicklow mountains, and they were SO beautiful!!

The view from our stay in Westport

Forget the Blarney stone, just find a cool looking wall and kiss it, they don't charge you for it ;)
Cliffs of Moher! It was even better than the pictures show.

We also went to Glendalough (Glen-da-lock), sorry for not putting pictures up of the water, this one was just too fabulous when the sun peeked out :) 

Galway city. This is where the original Claddah ring was made.
We also had our family reunion the second weekend in August. We had a wonderful weekend

My Grandmother's parents

My Grandad's parents

My dad, Roger, and my grandad, Paul

Bob, Amon, Paul, Eldo
Norma, Fern, Donna, and Faye

Me and my great aunt Faye

My dad's only sister, Cay

After the reunion I promptly left for Pentwater, MI with some friends and enjoyed a few days at the beach. There were a lot of really cool shops, ice cream parlors, and a really neat book store!

This was a great way to end my first night in Pentwater!
Happy 52nd Birth… WHAAA?!!??
I mean… 

Happy 25th Birthday Alexi!!

Yummy!! Cinnamon toast French Toast with Blueberries :)

Our fearless chef!

Well, we had to be ready for our adventure :P

And… for the real news: 

Are you ready for it?

You sure?

Because I was a little surprised, but super excited!!!!!!!!

I will be doing my first fashion shoot this coming spring!! I have two dresses, one skirt, and a jacket so far!! I'm even toying with the idea of doing a short. 
I'm finished toying.
Those will come later.
… Maybe … 
You'll find out in a few months :D

I'm really excited. Not gonna lie though, I'm also rather SCARED!! But the Lord has been giving me a lot of ideas for new pieces, yet more importantly, the peace that only comes through Him!! 
I have a photographer… who came to me!! 
I've decided not to share my sketches publicly until the shoot. I am definitely asking advice on the designs though!! I know that I can do this, but I sure don't want to be putting so much time into things that won't be fashion forward enough. I've been watching about as much Project Runway as I can get my hands on. I'm usually surprised at a lot of the things that are produced in that work room, but the best part is being able to see how different garments are constructed.

Well, that's all for this post.
But I made a Chocolate-Pear tart yesterday, so that recipe (which I made up myself!) might be up in the next few minutes :P