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What’92s in the Fridge Tonight?

autumn pear tart

Well, I didn’t’92t expect to be searching my fridge again quite so soon,  but today we had two delightful young women drop in from North Dakota who did not realize that March is COLD here on the mountain.  While  Doug took them on a horse ride during a brief break in the storms I madly searched for what to serve them for dinner.   When I cooked the chicken for last nights meal I had cooked 4 extra pieces, intending to use them in chicken salad for our ongoing diet.  I opened some jars of spaghetti sauce from our food storage and simmered it with onion, garlic, and basil.  I cut up the chicken in strips and added it to the sauce.  I served this over penne noodles with a green salad and some stir fried veggies along with a homemade loaf of French Bread.  They loved it, but the crowning jewel was the dessert I pulled together out of 3 very ripe pears and 1 cup of dried cherries that was in the pantry.  I am calling this one Pear Cherry Tart and it will definitely be showing up in the next version of my cookbook and on the dessert table this summer.  I think it will work great with some of our fresh raspberries from the garden in place of the cherries.  This one is company worthy!

Pear Cherry Tart

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup cold butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans

3 medium pears, peeled and thinly sliced
‘bd cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 cup dried cherries
‘bd cup orange juice


‘bd cup all-purpose flour
‘bd cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
‘bc cup cold butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans

1) Place 1 cup of dried cherries in small saucepan with enough orange juice to cover, approximately ‘bd cup.  Simmer for about 10 minutes until cherries plump up and are softened.  Drain off orange juice and set cherries aside to cool.

2) Crust:  Mix flour, sugar, and nuts together in medium bowl.  Cut butter into small pieces and work into flour mixture with your hands until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Press into the bottom and sides of an ungreased 11 in. fluted tart pan with removable bottom.  Be sure to build up sides of tart equal to thickness of bottom of tart.

3) Filling:  Combine pear, sugar, cornstarch, cooled and drained cherries, cinnamon, and lemon peel.  Toss gently.  Pour into crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 -25 minutes.

4) Topping:  In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, nuts, and lemon peel.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over tart and continue to bake for about 15 minutes until topping is deep golden brown.  Cool on wire rack.  Remove sides of pan and place on serving platter.  Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar if desired


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