We have an unfortunate pear tree in the orchard that I once bought around Christmas time to be our Christmas tree. It seemed like a perfectly lovely idea at the time, like an idea out of a Christmas carol, but actually the pear tree hated being inside with lights and ornaments all over it, even for just a couple weeks. It shed all of its leaves and looked like a dead stick in a pot with ornaments hung on it, and was a complete failure. By the time we planted it in the spring, it looked very, very unhappy, and I didn’t have high hopes for it’s survival.
After a couple of years, and it didn’t die (can you tell I am terrible about growing fruit trees?), it actually filled itself out and started looking happy for the first time since we’d garlanded it with fairy lights. The past three years it has grown taller and taller, and looks like a proper and established pear tree now. The only problem is – it doesn’t have pears!
One of it’s problems is that it blooms when the other pears are still dormant. We’ve tried to find another pear tree that blooms so early, but have had no success. Last year it had one – yes, ONE, pear on the whole tree.
I’ve been trying to give it some extra attention the past few years, and something must be working, because this year, it had a whole FIVE pears on it! This is a massive harvest for us, one whole pear each!
Stone pears are very hard fruits, which are generally best cooked. Sweet, juicy and flavored with cinnamon, once this tart was out of the oven, there were some disagreements about how evenly the portions were cut and shared, and we are all wishing the pear tree had at least twice as many pears! Maybe next year…
Stone Pear Tart
For The Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter
- Mix flour and salt together with a fork.
- Rub in the butter until you get a crumbly mixture.
- Add the egg, and knead for a minute or so, until you get a stiff dough. Set aside.
For The Filling:
4-5 Stone Pears
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F. Quarter the stone pears, and cut out the seeds. Then slice into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
- In an oven-proof pan that can also be put on the stove top (I used my cast iron frying pan), melt the butter and honey together over a low flame, until it bubbles:
- Lay the slices of pear in an over-lapping pattern, sort of like for scalloped potatoes, into the butter and honey mixture.
- Roll out the pastry into a circle, about the size of the pan. I didn’t measure it or anything, just gave it the Old Eyeball, and tucked any extra dough underneath when I laid it over the pears.
- Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is gently toasted.
- Allow to cool completely, and then lay a plate over the pan, and flip the tart out onto the plate. Serve right away – it is excellent with whipped cream!