Creole Christmas Pear Tart
PREP TIME: 3 Hours

Rustic fruit tarts took the place of the more classic pies and tarts of the French kitchen here in South Louisiana. During the holiday season, canned or jarred fruits were mixed with fresh seasonal varieties to create these seasonal delicacies. This pear tart is a magnificent example of these homespun desserts.


  • 4 pears, halved, cored and peeled
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
  • ¼ pound butter (one stick)
  • 2 red apples, skin-on, ¼" diced
  • 2 green apples, skin-on, ¼" diced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 tbsps flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup Calvados, or apple brandy
  • 1-1/3 cups flour
  • ¼ pound chipped cold butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup ice water

In a large pot, place water, sugar, wine and pears. Slightly simmer pears until fork tender, but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. The pears must remain in poaching liquid overnight to soak up the color and flavor of the wine. The next step is to make the apple filling. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. In a mixing bowl, toss diced apples in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Add to sauté pan and stir constantly. Cook until apples are cooked al dente. Add vanilla, raisins, and Calvados. Place mixture in a mixing bowl and set aside to cool. The next day, make the crust by placing the flour, butter and sugar into the bowl of a food processor equipped with a metal blade. Using pulse button, blend mixture until a coarse meal texture is achieved, approximately one minute. Slowly add ice water, a little at a time, until dough forms into a ball. Remove and place on floured surface. Roll dough to a one eighth inch thickness, about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place rolled dough onto a ceramic pizza stone. Leaving about 1 ½ -2 inches around the edge place the cold apple filling onto the dough. Arrange the 8 pear halves on top of the filling about 1 inch in from the edge. Fold the dough over the edges of the filling to create the rustic pie crust, being careful not to cover the pears. Bake on the pizza stone in a 400-degree oven until crust is golden, about 20-30 minutes.

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