2011, Recipes 114 & 115: Streusel Pear Tart and Three-Way Ginger Snaps

 Streusel Pear Tart
Recipe courtesy of Wendy Kalen and Lori Longbotham at Every Day with Rachael Ray
  • 1/2 recipe Perfect Pie Crust or 1/2 pkg. (14.1-oz.) refrigerated piecrust (1 crust)
  • 6 firm-ripe anjou or bartlett pears (about 3 lbs.)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. apple pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 -inch pieces
  1. Unroll the piecrust into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the crust against the bottom and sides of the pan, trimming the top as needed so it is even with the rim. Refrigerate.
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°. Peel, core and cut the pears into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. flour, the apple pie spice and salt. Toss the brown sugar mixture with the pears to coat, then spoon into the prepared piecrust.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the streusel over the pears.
  4. Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the top is browned and the pears are tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.

    Results: Meh. The pears were a little firm for my taste. I've also found I don't like loose streusel very much. It's just a bunch of sugar on top. The crust also tasted a bit salty for some reason. I like Martha Stewart's pate brisee better. Other people liked it. I thought it was just okay. I did like the impressive look of the tart, though so I will definitely be making a tart again!

Three-Way Ginger Snaps
Recipe courtesy of Nick Maligeri in "The Modern Baker"

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies before baking
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 or 3 cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans lined with parchment or foil
1. Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325ºF. If you only have one oven rack like me, set it in the middle of your oven.
2. Mix the flour with the ground ginger, baking soda, and salt.
3. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until lightened, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and continue beating until smooth.
4. Decrease the mixer speed to low and beat in half the flour mixture. Stop and scrape down the bowl and paddle.
5. Beat in the grated ginger, crystallized ginger and the honey. After they are incorporated, beat in the remaining flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to give a final mixing to the dough.
6. Roll 1/2 tablespoon of the dough between the palms of your hands to make a little sphere, then roll it in a shallow bowl of raw sugar. Place it on one of the prepared pans. Continue with the remaining dough, keeping the subsequent cookies about 2 inches apart on all sides. Make sure these are small and spaced. They spread a lot.
7. Bake the gingersnaps until they spread and become deep golden, 15 to 20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, place the pan from the lower rack on the upper one and vice versa, turning the pans from back to front at the same time. If you know that your oven gives off strong bottom heat, stack the pan on the lower rack on top of a second one for insulation. If you're working with only one rack, just turn your pan from back to front after the first 10 minutes.
8. Slide the papers off the pans to cool the cookies. If you have only one more pan of gingersnaps to bake, readjust one of the racks to the middle level for baking.
Results: Y'all. These are some of the best ginger snaps I've ever had in my whole life!!! They're so gingery and delicious! I LOVE the crystallized ginger. Everybody went nuts over them. If you store them in the freezer, you can eat them straight out of the freezer and they stay fresher longer.


Nerd Girl said...

I LOVE ginger snaps. I shall be making these soon!

Jameil said...

Yay! I can't wait to hear about it!