This recipe was happily born of a bit of laziness. I didn’t have white flour and I had just been to the store and really didn’t want to go again, so I decided to make my tart crust out of whole wheat flour. I often use whole wheat flour for more savory pies and pastries, but wasn’t sure how it would work for a dessert. It turned out to be the perfect balance to the sweet pear and custard inside, resulting in a finished product that is equally good served topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream after a summer dinner or enjoyed with a cup of strong coffee as an indulgent breakfast.
2 cups whole wheat flour
10 Tbs. cold unsalted butter
pinch of salt
5 Tbs. ice water
2 Tbs. cold milk
3 large D’anjou pears, cut in half, cored, and sliced very thin
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
cinnamon for sprinkling
To make the crust, pulse flour, butter, salt, water and milk together in a food processor or mix in a kitchen aid (or work together with your hands). Bring dough together in a ball. Flatten, and press into a tart pan. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. Beat together eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla. Remove tart shell from fridge. Arrange thin pear slices in concentric circles around bottom of tart pan. Pour custard over pears. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Turn down to 325 and continue to bake until custard in set (about 20-25 more minutes.)
Sprinkle with cinnamon if you like. Let cool. Serve chilled.