For this recipe, Hazan recommends winter varieties such as the Bosc or the Anjou—which I think these are, I photographed a bunch of produce during out latest orchard visit. Per Hazan, you must avoid Bartletts that are not “half so appealing”, so I heeded the warning.
Be still my heart. I have finally made it to my second post for the Cooking Italy Club, the foodie haven devoted to the cuisine of the great Marcella Hazan. In my defense, I have been redoing my website, learning how to point and shoot with the new Canon Rebel (playing with the ISO button is so for later…). It’s been a learning curve.
So, for this second rustic Italian endeavour, our gentle leader AKA Angela of Spinach Tiger chose Hazan’s Farm Wife’s Fresh Pear Tart, a recipe “so simple that only an active campaign of sabotage could ruin it” according to Hazan’s intro. Admittedly, desserts are not a strength of her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking bible, nor of Italian cuisine as a rule—although I do love my cannolis.
What I liked about this recipe was its downhome simplicity. Putting it plainly, she had me at seven ingredients. And fresh fruit. And, oh, not much sugar. It was a jiffy to put together, cooked under an hour and the house smelled heavenly.
Would I make this again? Sure, but I’d love to tweak it. Maybe soak the pears in a little Poire William, add chopped walnuts, sprinkle some Demerara sugar on top. I found that it tastes better if you let it cool and serve it at room temperature. Right out of the oven, I was disappointed and feared the worst. That said, picky hubby loved it — which is music to my ears — and I may not be “allowed” to play around with the original recipe…
Overall, I like the down-to-basics technique and taste of this pie. If your family lets you, this could be the perfect canvas for your next stroke of pastry genius.