There’s nary a cocoa bean in sight but my Thanksgiving Brown Butter Pear Tart might remind you of a brownie. If that brownie were studded with pears and spiked with spice that is. That’s because this tart is dense and sticky on the inside with a flaky top layer that cracks when you cut into it.
Let me state that more clearly. This tart is rich. It’s laced with enough brown butter to have a definite toffee-ish flavor. There’s also a lot of sugar so I suppose that is why it’s both gooey and delectably brittle. This Brown Butter Pear Tart has the sort of culinary alchemy I can’t really understand – let alone describe.
Brown Butter Pear Tart
It’s adapted from Nancy Silverton, who (back in the day) often featured a berry version at the La Brea Bakery and Campanile restaurant here in Los Angeles. Alas, Campanile is no more and La Brea Bakery is merely a grocery store brand of decent bread. Fortunately, this simple recipe lives on and I’ve seen several versions online usually featuring berries, but sometimes stone fruit.
However, it’s autumn and we are heading into the holidays. Stone fruit (and even berries) are either unavailable, unedible, or unaffordable – so I’ve adapted this recipe into a pear tart that’s perfect for this time of year.
Not only is this Brown Butter Pear Tart seasonal, but it’s also especially well-suited for the holidays. It’s a good make-ahead dessert that’s best when stored at room temperature. Two talking points that win favor when discussing holiday desserts. And I hate to be the one to tell you, but it’s not too early to be discussing holiday desserts.
In fact, it’s time to take a deep culinary breath and hold it for a count of ten. Just around the corner lurks the frenzy of holiday cooking. In my estimation, we have 3 days tops before the lid flies off the saucepan and starts its annual 6‑week whirl around the cook. GREG