Croustade aux Poires

by ally redmond

pear tart with cream

In our family, even though my husband is a great cook and does a lot of the cooking, I have always been the pastry chef.   I think that to make good pastry you have to have a sweet tooth, and I certainly can check that box!

When it comes to a recipe repertoire, it’s very easy to fall into a rut, using the same recipes over and over because we know they work.   Which is why I am always on the look out for new ideas.     In our magazine My French Country Home, we always include recipes for French dishes.  And in the current issue we turned to cookbook writer Kate Hill.  Kate lives in South West France, in a beautiful country home.   As well as writing her books, she also offers cooking courses, and now I’ve tried out her recipes, I’m thinking I should go!

chef with white apron cooking in kitchen

In our current magazine, we share several of Kate’s ideas, include a de-li-cious pear tart.  I tried it last weekend, and was instantly hooked.    A Gascon recipe, La Croustade is a crunchy and sugary pastry made with juicy pears. With just 6 ingredients, you can turn this out quickly, pop it into the oven, and 30 minutes – watch your guests’ delight!

Serves 8  

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes  

EDITORS NOTE: This recipe can be made in a large quiche or pie pan, or by simply placing a round of puff pastry on a parchment-lined baking sheet, adding the pear filling, then placing another round of puff pastry on top. Crimp the edges together and proceed with the recipe as written.

Make The Rough Puff Pastry

2 cups (300 g) flour + extra for rolling

1 ⅓ cups (300 g) unsalted butter (note: European butter is higher in butterfat)

⅔ cup (150 ml) cold water

½ cup (100 g) white granulated sugar

1 generous pinch of salt

 

Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

Using a small knife or your fingers, break the butter into chunks. Work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers, leaving many different sized pieces (almond, pea, lentil sizes)—this should be a very coarse mixture.

Make a well in the flour and butter and add the cold water. Mix quickly with a large spoon, adding more water as needed.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead just enough to form a smooth ball.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. 

Fold the rectangle into thirds, and roll out into another rectangle. Fold this rectangle into thirds. Repeat two more times. Chill as needed. 

Cut the last rectangle in half, using one half for the top and one half for the bottom. Roll the bottom half out until it is a ¼ inch thick (6 mm), then place on a half sheet or cookie pan lined with parchment paper. Chill. (This can be made in a large quiche or pie pan, or by placing a round of puff pastry directly on a baking sheet)

Roll out the top and let rest while you add the filling.

 

Make The Pear Filling

6 very ripe pears, a mixture of varieties

1/4 cup (50 g) white granulated sugar

A generous sprinkle of cinnamon

Optional: A glug of armagnac (brandy, calvados, rum, etc.)

Optional: Pine nuts or slivered almonds

 

Peel and thinly slice pears into ¼ inch (1 cm) pieces.

Mix the sugar, cinnamon and armagnac together. Let sit while you roll out and shape the dough.

Place the pear filling in a thin layer across on the surface of the bottom pastry, then cover with the top pastry.

Fold the bottom edges up over the top edge and crimp. 

Brush with a whole egg wash and dust with white sugar (expect there to be sugary, juicy leaks running out and around the pan—don’t worry, it’s delicious!). You can sprinkle pine nuts or slivered almonds on top too.

Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 30-40 minutes or until very golden brown.

As soon as you can handle the pan, if you made the croustade on a baking sheet, slide the whole croustade off of the parchment and onto a wooden cutting board (this helps keep the bottom pastry from getting soggy, as the steam escapes into the porous wood).

Let cool, cut into big squares or slices and serve with crème fraîche, vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of salted butter caramel. 

A 25th anniversary edition of “A Culinary Journey in Gascony: Recipes and Stories from My French Canal Boat” is available on www.kitchen-at-camont.com 

For more information on classes, please visit www.kitchen-at-camont.com or contact Kate on [email protected]

For more recipes and inspiration, follow Kate on Instagram @katedecamont.

All photos by Ruth Ribeaucourt.

16 comments

Beth Craig September 13, 2020 - 3:08 pm

You’ve got a typo! You say to spread the apple filling on the pastry, not pear.

Bon Dimanche!
Beth

Reply
Sharon Santoni September 13, 2020 - 9:00 pm

Thank you Beth, I’ve been picking apples this week so I obviously have them on my mind!!

🙂 Sharon

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Kameela September 13, 2020 - 3:58 pm

Is it a pear tart or Apple? Looks great whatever the fruit is

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Sharon Santoni September 13, 2020 - 9:02 pm

This is a pear tart, there was a typo which is now corrected 🙂

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Lesley September 13, 2020 - 4:00 pm

I may be wrong but I think you have the wrong pictures with the recipe. You say to cut the pie into squares but your pie is round in the pictures. Also to put a top layer of pastry on the pie – there doesn’t seem to be a layer of pastry on the pie and lastly there are pine nuts on top of the pie in the pictures but no mention of pine nuts in the ingredients.

If it is a different pie I would live the recipe for that shown in the pictures as it looks amazing.

Best wishes – Lesley

Reply
Sharon Santoni September 13, 2020 - 9:04 pm

Hi Lesley; These are the correct images for the recipe that I gave. The pie can be cut into triangular parts or cut into large squares, whatever works for you. On the photo the top layer of pastry is sprinkled with pine nuts, although I have also used almond slithers which worked well too! 🙂

Best

Sharon

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Bonnie White September 14, 2020 - 4:11 am

What size is the pan the pastry goes in? I look for very specific directions and this one is confusing. Thanks

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Molly @ MFCH September 21, 2020 - 11:11 am

Hi Bonnie, You can make this in a pie dish or a large quiche pan. Enjoy~

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Nettie September 14, 2020 - 5:28 am

Can’t wait to try this pear tart! It looks and sounds delicious! Just read your 2015 visit to Susan Loomis…..lovely! I so thoroughly enjoyed her book On Rue Tatin and her adventures in that small village. Love reading the older blog entries that I missed. Thank you so much!

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Carolyn G Haley September 16, 2020 - 7:58 pm

This sounds amazing and will give it a try. Love your expression, a glug of Armagnac. Can’t go wrong with that. I am enjoying immensely my new subscription of your magazine.

Carolyn/ A Southerner’s Notebook

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Molly @ MFCH September 21, 2020 - 11:09 am

The best way to add a bit of Armangnac 🙂

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Christine September 20, 2020 - 6:52 pm

Calls for sugar in the rough pastry but never directs to add? Sites sugar as 50 gram for a 1/2 cup in pear filling and 100 grams for a 1/2 cup in pastry. Now the dilemma. To add the sugar to pastry or not…

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Molly @ MFCH September 21, 2020 - 11:09 am

Hi Christine! Thanks so much for your comment 🙂 We’ve just updated the recipe. The sugar for the puff pastry is added at the beginning with the flour (if you wish, this can be left out or reduced too). The sugar for the pears is 1/4 cup or 50 g. I hope your croustade turned out delicious!

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Mel September 23, 2020 - 1:10 am

This looks like a delicious recipe. Will definitely make it some time in the near future – and serve with a drizzle of salted caramel.

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Giftbasketworldwide September 30, 2020 - 5:44 am

Thank you for the information.

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Ray October 1, 2020 - 12:08 am

I love your Blog. I’ve seen the pictures are very nice. I would like to ask you the mustard dishes that mark are, I would like to see if I find them green. Thank you.

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