August 18, 2011
Rice Epicurean Cooking School came up with an idea so that they could participate in Houston Restaurant Weeks. Instructors have created many different three-course dinner menus that students learn to cook and then they eat what they cook. Chefs Sarah Augustine and Chip Hight are the instructors and teach these classes five nights per week in August. The classes cost $35 per person and Rice Epicurean Markets will donate $5 per student to the Houston Food Bank. The chefs show Cleverley Stone, Houston Restaurant Weeks event founder
and chair, how to make a Poached Pear Frangipane Tart, one of the desserts on their cooking class schedule. To view the entire HRW class schedule for Rice Epicurean Cooking School, visit the Houston Restaurant Weeks website and click on Rice Epicurean Cooking School.
For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston, listen to Cleverley’s radio show Saturdays at Noon on Talk 650 AM.
(By the way, she gives out restaurant gift certificates on every radio show in August!)
Pear and Frangipane Tart
Source: Chef Sarah Augustine & Chef Chip Hight, Rice Epicurean Cooking School
Makes One Tart, 6 -8 servings
- 2 ripe medium pears
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup almond meal or finely ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 refrigerated pie dough or frozen pie crust
Directions for Pears
1. Combine the water, wine, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears and bring to a simmer.
2. Peel the pears, cut the pear in half and core at either end.
3. Add the pear halves to the simmering liquid and reduce heat to low. Cover, and let pears poach for 10 minutes, occasionally turning them. The pears will become slightly translucent and easily pierced with a knife or skewer.
4. Let the pears cool in the liquid.
Directions for Frangipane
1. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium size bowl and combine until smooth.
2. Add the ground almonds and stir together.
3. Add the egg and egg white, then add the flour and cornstarch. Whisk the mixture until it is very smooth.
4. Add in the vanilla and almond extract.
Making the Tart
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bake the tart shell or pie shell for 5-8 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool before adding the frangipane mixture.
3. Spread the frangipane evenly into the cooled tart shell.
4. Take the poached pears out of their liquid and drain them on cooling racks. Blot the pears with paper towels before placing them in the tart. Cut each pear half crosswise into 1/4 in thick slices.
5. Slide a spatula underneath the pear so you can move the entire half onto the tart. Press on the pear to fan the slices toward the top narrow end of the pear. Side the pear half onto the frangipane carefully.
6. Repeat with the other pear halves until there are 4 halves on the tart, evenly spaced.
7. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the frangipane has puffed, is golden brown, and firm to the touch.
8. Brush the pears with some warmed apple jelly to glaze, or dust powdered sugar over the tart. Serve the tart warm.