When A was packing his bags and getting ready to go on another one of his trips, I got really upset because more than a week-long trip meant that this would be the first Valentine’s Day when we’d be apart! But to tell you the truth, this one turned out to be probably the best Valentine’s day I had ever had (sorry A!) because for the first time, I got to spend it with the love of my life. Just the two of us!
The day began with us waking up to each other in the morning. Then a nice breakfast with us chasing each other all across the house followed by a long walk on a sunny and warm day. By the evening, we were so tired having fun all day long that we just cuddled on the couch watching our favorite movie and eating chocolate (chocolate and pear tart to be specific!). And just a little while back we ended our most wonderful Valentine’s Day with a good night kiss!
I am sure you have guessed it by now! Little monster was mommy’s Valentine and she just made the day perfect just like she does effortlessly with every day of my life ever since she was born!
But whatever I do, she is and will be a daddy’s girl. She has been missing Papa so badly for the past few days and whenever we miss papa, we just make what papa loves. I’m sorry if you are fed up of seeing chocolate after chocolate recipes on Valentine’s Day. But what can I do, chocolate is his favorite dessert and someone around here is missing him a lot!
I found this recipe for Chocolate and Pear tart here a while back but just like a lot of other recipes this one was sitting in my “recipes worth trying” folder for a while now. “Chocolate needs an occasion”, I’d say to myself every time I would look at this one. Recently, while I was looking at the recipe, the little monster saw a photo and jumped, “Ma! totlate (chocolate)!”. So I decided, let’s just make it and I got the ingredients, which were so simple that I didn’t even have to make a trip to the grocery store. Both of us had a ball melting the chocolate and messing up the whole kitchen. And you should have seen her face when the tart came out of the oven!
Do you see those holes in the tart? That’s because those tiny little fingers couldn’t resist poking into it!
Now the recipe that I was referring to used sliced and poached pear while I used fresh fruit wedges which I think tasted better as you could eat nice chunks of pear with creamy and smooth chocolate. You can check out the link mentioned above if you want a process for slicing and placing thin pear slices.
Ingredients:Adapted minimally from this recipe (Serves 6)
For the crust (lightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, very cold, cut into 16 pieces
1 cold egg, lightly beaten
For the filling
3 Pears (ripe and firm)
8 oz good semisweet chocolate
3/4 cups of heavy cream
1 egg yolk
seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
Confectioners sugar for sprinkle
Mix together flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
Cut butter into very small chunks. Add it to the dry ingredients and pulse it in a food processor so that butter and flour mix together.
It will still look crumbly. Add eggs and pulse the food processor again.
A dough will form. Take it out of the food processor and work it with hands on the kitchen counter. Knead the dough for a couple minutes until the crumbly mixture is nicely incorporated.
Take a tart pan and lightly press the dough into the tart pan. The dough should cover all the sides but not lose its crumbly texture. Try not to work it too much or the butter will start to melt. Place the tart pan in the freezer for 1/2 hour.
For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 375 deg. F
Peel, core and cut the pear into quarters. Cook it in a microwave until they are just about tender.
Take out and let it cool.
In a double broiler melt the chocolate with cream. Whisk thoroughly so that it all incorporates well.
Then add sugar to the chocolate and mix it till the sugar dissolves well.
Set it aside and let it cool.
Whisk egg and egg yolk in a mixer. Add vanilla beans or extract and mix it together.
Once the chocolate and cream mixture is cool enough pour it into the egg with mixer on medium low to combine everything together.
Take out the tart pan from the freezer. Arrange the pears and then pour the custard into the pan carefully not to pour on top of the pears but from the sides.
Place it into the oven and bake for about 45-50 minutes but I start peeking after 40 minutes.
When the chocolate custard is puffed and set, its done. It should be a little firm to touch and slightly cracked from the edges.
Take it out and let it cool before serving, only if you can resist!