(Adapted from The Seven Sins of Chocolate (DK Publishing, 2006) by Laurent Schott.)
SCHARFFEN BERGER Chocolate pairs well with pears! The author recommends serving the tart with a light Beaujolais.
Expand/Collapse Ingredient Details
For the Poached Pears
- 3 firm but ripe pears, such as D'Anjou
- 1 3/4 cups light red wine such as Beaujolais
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 star anise (optional)
For the Pastry
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons ice water
For the Chocolate Ganache Fillin
- 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom
To Make the Poached Pears
Peel and halve the pears lengthwise and remove the core. Bring the wine, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and star anise to a boil in a saucepan. Add the pears to the wine and simmer over low heat, just until tender when pierced with the tip of a small knife, about 15 minutes. Do not overcook. Let cool in the wine syrup.
To Make the Pastry
Mix the flour, confectioner's sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and rub between your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stirring with a fork, add just enough of the egg yolk-water to evenly moisten the mixture. It should hold together when you press the dough between your finger and your thumb. You may need to add a bit more water.
Gather up the dough and press into a thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 12 hours.
Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface or between several layers of waxed paper. Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness and line the tart pan with it. Prick the dough well with a fork. Refrigerate or freeze the dough-lined pan for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Line the pan with foil or parchment and fill with baking weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the dough is set. Remove the paper and the weights. Continue baking until the crust is a golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
To Make the Ganache
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil, pour over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has completely melted. Whisk in the butter, a piece at a time, until the ganache is smooth.
Pour the ganache into the baked tart shell and refrigerate until barely set, about 30 minutes.
To Assemble the Tart
Drain and thinly slice the pears. Arrange them in concentric circles on the ganache. Remove the tart from the pan.