Vanilla Tart with Nutmeg Crust and Spiced Pears
Spiced Pears Ingredients:
- 1½ cups white wine
- ½ cup Poire William (pear liqueur) or pear nectar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 sliced firm, ripe pears
- 7 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon Tahitian vanilla extract or vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 teaspoons Tahitian vanilla extract or vanilla extract
Spiced Pear Directions:
- In large saucepan combine white wine, Poire William (pear liqueur) or pear nectar, sugar, and vanilla bean vanilla. Bring to boiling.
- Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup.
- Stir in pears. Return to boiling.
- Reduce heat and cover. Simmer 5 to 8 minutes more or until pears are crisp-tender.
- Remove from heat; cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For nutmeg crust, position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In medium bowl combine butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg.
- Add flour; mix just until well blended. If dough is too soft, let stand a few minutes to firm up.
- Evenly press dough on bottom and sides of a 9- to 9-½-inch square or round tart pan in a thin layer. (This takes patience, as there is just enough dough.)
- Refrigerate 30 minutes to firm the dough.
- Place pan on baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is a deep golden brown, checking after 15 minutes. If dough has puffed from bottom of pan, prick a few times and gently press down with back of a fork. Cool in pan on wire rack.
- In heavy medium saucepan whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt to blend.
- Add 3 Tablespoons half-and-half and whisk to form a smooth paste.
- Whisk in remaining half-and-half.
- Using a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon, stir constantly over medium heat, scraping bottom, sides, and corners of pan until filling thickens and begins to bubble.
- Cook and stir 1 minute more to fully cook cornstarch.
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Immediately pour into crust, leveling with spatula.
- Cool 1 hour, uncovered, at room temperature. Refrigerate in covered container to cool completely.
- Serve with spiced pears.