Tuesday, October 12, 2010

{TWD} Pear Foldover Torte, regular and gluten-free

A 6 inch mini torte with flaky pie crust

The Tuesdays With Dorie baking group continued on an autumn baking spree this week with Dorie Greenspan's Fold-Over Pear Torte, a sort of hybrid pie/pudding concoction, baked in a springform pan and packed with fruit - pears this time - and nuts.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- Cakelaw of Laws of the Kitchen selected this week's torte for us to bake. You can find the recipe on her site.

- Dorie's recipe calls for pears, walnuts, and chopped dried apricots. Although sometimes pears are a little bland in desserts, I decided to stick pretty closely to the original; my version switched out the apricots for dried cherries (plumped in boiling water first) because I'll use any pretext to bake with dried cherries.

- I made two 6 inch tortes. In addition to the regular pie-crust-encrusted torte, I also made a gluten-free version, with a base layer of nut tart crust (similar to the one that I made here) and then lots of fruit and custard. For the gluten-free torte I replaced the all purpose flour in the custard with a mixture of coconut flour and almond flour.

the gluten-free torte with a nut crust base (and no fold over)

- I forgot to add the baking powder to the custard, but luckily the tortes seemed none the worse for the omission. They still puffed a bit - from the eggs I guess.

- We love custard at our house, so I made extra filling to be certain that there was enough custard in each of the tortes. I was able to use all of the gluten-free filling in my very tall 6" springform pan. For the regular tart, the pan was much shallower and I couldn't fit all of the filling into the crust, so I baked the extra fruit and custard in some buttered baking dishes.

- Instead of Dorie's crust, for the regular torte I used the Cook's Illustrated pie crust (find the recipe here, and my previous post about it here) which is my very favorite crust for two reasons: it is impossibly easy to work with the dough, and I love the taste from the combination of shortening and butter. The pie crust complements any pie filling without stealing the starring role.

- The crust didn't brown very much as it baked in the oven so next time I might brush it with a milk or egg wash.

the leftover fruit and custard, baked in a buttered dish

the verdict:

My husband ate the regular torte and absolutely loved it. "This might be the best dessert. Ever." He savored his little torte over the course of a few days, accompanied by rum ice cream.

My daughter J.D.E. and I sampled the gluten-free torte. It had a luxurious amount of custard, and the nut crust played a nice supporting role. My daugher liked the dessert so much that she said she'd like the baked custard + fruit even without the crust (although she preferred the nut crust to the regular pie crust).

This torte has earned a permanent spot in the fall baking repertory!


Laura said...

I need to make this recipe now, you and Natalia both loved it. I will try it with the apples I collected from my daughter's school garden, they don't look good so nobody will eat them.

Thanks for the inspiration, and I love the nut crust idea for my gluten sensitive friends.

Cathy said...

Best dessert. Ever. - wow! I feel like that is especially high praise coming from someone lucky enough to be treated to fabulous desserts on a regular basis. We liked this one as well (although David is kind of in a rut when it comes to giving me interesting feedback about these desserts - he needs to work on that.) I'm with J.D.E. re: the scrumptiousness of the custard and fruit! Both of your versions sound divine (and look beautiful as always!)

Cakelaw said...

Great job Nancy - both versions look wonderful. The cherry sub sounds really good. Thanks for baking along, and glad it was a hit in your place!

Kayte said...

Looks so nice, you did a great job on this one. It was fun baking with you on Sunday...you keep it all very entertaining. I love the idea of dried cherries in this...next time!

dorie said...

As always, your desserts look lovely. I like the idea of a nut crust with this torte -- I think it would be good whether you were looking for a gluten-free option or not.

Di said...

Glad to hear everyone liked your tortes so much! I was thinking the same thing about brushing the crust with something to help it brown...

Tia said...

wow yours is so well shaped and flat and perfect.

Pamela said...

You and your versions never cease to amaze me! Fabulous.

Unknown said...

Now I see what went wrong with my 6-incher - I had too much crust folded over, and the custard never got properly exposed/baked through! Both your versions look amazing.

Hindy said...

I'd love to try this again with a nut crust. Great variation!

TeaLady said...

Glad this one was a hit. It was a pretty tasty dessert. Wanna try it freeform since had so much trouble with the pan. But loved the fruit mix.

Love that you made a GF torte, too. The both look perfectly delicious.

Judy said...

I thought about using dried cherries because I think they would go better with the pears. If I ever make it again, that's what I'll do.

Was it any easier getting the pie crust in the smaller pan?

Anonymous said...

great post thanks