Pear Tart with a Polenta Crust

Serves 6-8


Delicate flavors and textures make this tart a pleasant alternative to heavier desserts; it is particularly delicious accompanied by a raspberry, lemon, or mint sorbet, with Gorgonzola alongside.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fine- or medium-ground polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large or 3 medium ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  1. In a medium bowl, blend the butter and sugar together. Add the polenta, salt, and eggs, and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour. Knead lightly on a floured work surface for 2 minutes, cut into two pieces, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and roll out one piece into a 10-inch circle, and reserve the second piece for another tart. Press the crust into a 10-inch tart pan, place in a 350 degree F oven, and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the sliced pears until they just begin to color. Remove from the heat and arrange the pears over the surface of the tart shell, overlapping them in two concentric circles. Place in a 325 degree F oven until the pears are completely tender and the edges of the crust just begin to color. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges, garnish each piece with a mint leaf, and serve.

by Michele Anna Jordan
Broadway Books
$19.95; 1997
ISBN 0-553-06732-X
Copyright © 1997 Michele Anna Jordan.
Reprinted by permission.



Making Soft Polenta
Polenta Recipes (by Michele Anna Jordan)
Additional Polenta Recipes

This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007

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