Going home is all about pure comfort. Revisiting old places, catching up with friends and enjoying mum’s home cooking. I haven’t been home much this year – a consequence of a mixture of work, a volcano and too many other travel destinations.
So this week was the first proper time I got to spend at home. It’s really weird because it seems like time is both passing very slowly and very quickly here. Slowly because the pace of life in Luxembourg is way more relaxed than in London. Quickly because, even though 10 days at home seem like ages, they pass like the speed of light. I had so many plans – including doing a super blog post on Luxembourg – but then life and fun got in the way.
I didn’t even manage to bake or cook anything. So thank the heavens that my mum did all this.
For my birthday, she made this divine rustic pear tart, using some of the beautiful pears that grow in our garden. I remember when that pear tree was really small with the odd pear hiding behind a leaf- and now this year it’s just heaving with sweet pears.
This recipe is usually made with apples, but it’s just as nice with pears. The fruit is first baked with the pastry alone, and the custard only added half-way through the baking process. It’s a really refreshing but also creamy tart that is perfect for an afternoon treat – or a birthday breakfast.
Rustic pear tart
Makes 1 tart
For the dough:
100g cold butter
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water
For the topping:
1 kg pears
2 tbsp lemon juice
seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Start by making the dough: cut the butter into small cubes and mix with the flour. Use your hands to rub the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, sugar and water and knead into a firm dough. Mould the dough into a ball and wrap it in clingfilm. Put into the fridge for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, peel the pears. Cut them in half and remove the seeds. Now cut into the pear halves and create a fan shape – you do so by carefully cutting small wedges into the pear, but without cutting all the way through. Rub each pear with lemon juice, so that they don’t go brown.
Preheat the oven to 200° celsius.
Grease a round cake tin (preferably a springform) of around 25cm width. Roll out the dough to a 4mm thickness and lift it into the tin. Spread the pear halves over the dough and bake for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile make the custard: mix the sugar with the eggs until frothy, add the cream and vanilla bean seeds.
Once your cake has baked for 25 minutes, pour this mix over it and bake for a further 20-30 minutes or until nicely golden.