This savory tart makes a fine lunch dish, accompanied by a salad, or an elegant starter for a more elaborate meal. I find it’s best in autumn, when pears are in season.
Preparation is quick, and will seem even faster if you make the pie shell a day ahead of time. Of course you could also use store-bought pastry, but you will not achieve the same effect. The homemade pie shell ingredients and recipe are here.
For best results, choose pears that are ripe but still a bit firm. This tart marries well with a fruity red, perhaps a Brouilly. It will serve 4 as a lunch dish and 6-8 as a starter.
1 pâte brisée (savory pie crust)
2 medium pears (preferably not too juicy)
1 ounce (30 g) Comté, Gruyère or a similar hard cheese
5 ounces (150 g) Roquefort
1/2 cup (125 ml) crème fraîche or heavy cream
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
1/4 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
Start by making the pie dough. Pat it into a 9-10 inch (22-25 cm) tart or pie pan and set it in the fridge to chill. This may be done a day ahead of time.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F, gas mark 6).
Quarter the pears, remove the cores and peel. Chop horizontally into bite-size pieces.
Grate the hard cheese onto a plate. Crumble the Roquefort onto a separate plate.
Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Add the cream. Whisk. Now add the milk and whisk again. Add the salt and grind on some black pepper.
Scatter the grated cheese over the bottom of your chilled pie shell. Distribute the pear pieces on top. Add the crumbled Roquefort. Pour on the egg and cream mixture.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the tart is nicely browned on top and doesn’t jiggle when you lift it out of the oven. To be sure the tart has set, plunge a sharp knife into the center. If it comes out clean, the tart is ready — if not, let it bake for 5 minutes more, then test again.
Serve the tart hot. Serves 4-8.
Please note: This tart may be made in advance and reheated.