Are you tired of bringing pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving dinner every year? Or are you just tired of finding 5 pumpkin pies on the dessert table because everyone has brought pumpkin pie?
Well, Kaysie Lackey has cooked up an amazing solution to your T-Day dilemma- Autumn Spiced Creme Brulee Tart in a Gingerbread Crust topped with Mulled Wine Poached Pears! Let her show you how to one-up everyone at this year's holiday dinner!
It's my favorite time of year! Autumn and the holidays mean taking a break from the cakes and focusing on breads, rolls, pies, and, my new favorite- tarts! This tart in particular is full of all the fall flavor staples- cinnamon, cloves, anise, ginger... plus wine! (It is the holidays after all!)
All the elements can be made ahead of time and then assembled day of for a show-stopping holiday dessert that will "Wow!" your guests. And as an added bonus, you can either reduce the pear poaching liquid to a decadent dessert sauce... or just reheat and drink it! I think I will do the latter :)
There are three things you'll need to make for this tart- the wine-poached pears, the tart crust, and the creme brulee. Let's start with the pears.
In a 3- to 4-qt. saucepan, combine wine, orange juice, zest strips, sugar, and spices. simmer until sugar has combined. Peal, halve, and core pears. Add pears to poaching liquid. Reduce heat and place a plate on top of pears to submerge them in liquid. Cook, covered, until pears are tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add thyme sprigs and cool to room temperature. Store in poaching liquid overnight to get a deep ruby color.
Now let's move on to the Creme Brulee.
Place cream in a heavy saucepan. Take the vanilla bean and scrap the inside seeds into the cream. Place the scraped bean into the cream as well.
Add the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cloves, star anise and chopped ginger. Bring cream to simmer. Turn heat off and cover with a lid or a piece of foil and let the spices steep in the mixture for two hours (or overnight)
Whisk yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in cream mixture. Strain into a large mixing bowl or pitcher to remove the ginger and other spices.
As if this Autumn Spiced Creme Brulee doesn't have enough of the taste of the season for you, we're going to put it in a gingerbread crust. It's like eating a French confectionary delicacy out of your favorite Christmas cookie.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, spices, and salt. Sprinkle butter cubes over the top and pulse until they are roughly the size of peas. Drizzle in molasses and pulse until mixture comes together into a ball. Turn out onto plastic wrap, shape into a disc, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Roll dough into a 13x10 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface, then transfer to a 8x11 inch tart pan. Trim dough so there is a ½-inch overhang, then fold the overhang inward, creating a double thick side. Use a paring knife to trim the top edge of the dough so it is flat. Poke the crust all over the bottom with a fork.
Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Press foil, shiny side down, tightly against the crust. Fill with dry beans or pie weights.
Bake for 15 minutes, remove foil and beans, then bake for another 5 minutes uncovered.
Remove tart shell from oven and reduce temperature to 300°F.
Put tart shell (in pan) in a 4-sided sheet pan. Put in oven, then pour custard into shell. Bake until just set but still slightly wobbly in center, 40 to 45 minutes (custard will continue to set as it cools).
Remove tart from sheet pan and cool on a rack 30 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator to firm up for about 1 hour more.
Remove the pears from the liquid and drain on paper or kitchen towels before slicing and topping the tart with them.
Arrange the pears on top of the filling. Because it’s hard to move the pears once they’re on the filling, you may want to practice your pattern on an empty sheet pan before placing it on the tart.
Place some apple jelly in a small saucepan. Simmer and whisk to form a smooth glaze. Allow to cool slightly.
Brush it on the exposed pears, being careful not to pull up the cream filling from below. For a final visual touch, brush some star anise pods with gold luster dust (made into a liquid paint) and place on tart.
Refrigerate the tart until ready to serve.
And there you have it! A stunning holiday dessert that is most decidedly not pumpkin pie.
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