Poached Pears in Red Wine Baked Cheese Tarts

Poached Pears in Red Wine Baked Cheese Tarts

Cheese Tart
Pear and Cheese

Faced with a month long pear feature and only a couple of recipes in mind, I took to google to find out what other flavours pair well with pear (pun originally unintended, but I’m going with it), and when I googled ‘pear flavour pairings’ the only, and I mean only, things listed on the front page were combinations for pear and cheese! How did I completely overlook that combo! Pears are so commonly used in cheese platters, of which are commonly accompanied by the drinking of red wine, and so I thought “Why not just put the whole platter into a tart?”… so I did just that.

Inspired by the super cheesy and world famous baked cheese tart recipes of Japan, and the posh cheese platter pairings of the west, I bring you a binge worthy baked cheese tart recipe. First, I poached pears in red wine, then I combined Don’t let the inclusion of cheddar cheese turn you off, it does make for one super cheesy cheese tart, but add to it the gorgeously sweet poached pears in red wine and a little sprinkle of icing sugar and *muah* you have yourself one hell of a baked cheese tart! One that’s perfectly balanced on the scaled between sweet and savoury, and completely delicious!

On another note! Today I discovered that these sweet loving taste buds of mine have grown up just a tad. I have always hated the taste of red wine, like HATED it, and then today, while I was baking these poached pears in red wine, I found myself loving the smell… enough so that I decided to take a quick swig from the bottle (I know, I’m all class) and it was delicious! So now I’m way too excited about the idea of having a glass of red wine and piece of dark chocolate with my bath tonight, and also, keen for more red wine recipes! So if you have any killer red wine dessert recipes, shoot me a link! I’d love to try them!


My Top Tips For Mastering This Bake

#1 Ensure the pears you’re using for this baked cheese tart recipe are firm and absent of any bruising. If your pears are already ripe they will be too unstable after poaching to achieve the fanned look on the final product, and any bruising on your pears will absorb more colour than the rest of the pears and result in blotchy red wine poached pears, and nobody wants blotchy red wine poached pears!

#2 Make sure you give your cheese filling and your poached pears plenty of time to cool to room temperature before you move on with your pastry, otherwise your end result will be a tad on the messy side.

#3 If you’re having trouble getting your cheese filling ingredients to a smooth consistency, don’t fret, simply pass it through a sieve to remove any lumps before you set it aside to cool. NOTE: Doing this after your cheese filling has cooled will be more difficult as it will be a much thicker consistency.

poached pears in red wine, baked cheese tart, cheese tart recipe
Yield: 4
Author: Dayna Hoskin

Red Wine Poached Pear Cheese Tarts

prep time: 2 hourcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 3 H
Because why not just put the whole cheese platter into a single tart.

ingredients:

Pears
  • 2 pears 
  • 2 cups merlot red wine 
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
Tarts
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 3tbsp mascarpone
  • 50g salted butter
  • 150ml full cream milk
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup mild cheddar cheese (grated, loosely packed)
  • 1tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp cornflour
Egg Wash
  • 1 egg 
  • 2tbsp full cream milk
+
  • x2 Frozen Sheet Shortcrust Pastry 

instructions:

How to cook Red Wine Poached Pear Cheese Tarts

Pears
  1. Combine 2 cups of red wine and 1 cup of white granulated sugar into a medium sized saucepan and bring the boil. 
  2. Once boiling, turn the temperature down to a simmer, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. 
  3. After 30 minutes, peel your two pears, cut them straight down the centre and remove the core and stem. 
  4. Place all four halves in the saucepan cut side up and simmer for half an hour. 
  5. After half an hour, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the pears (still suspended in the liquid) to come to room temperature. 
  6. Set aside. 
Cheese Filling
  1. Place a medium saucepan containing a couple of inches of water over a medium to high heat and bring to the boil. 
  2. Place a large metal or glass mixing bowl atop your saucepan to create a double boiler and add your butter, mascarpone, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, vanilla essence, icing sugar and full cream milk. 
  3. Gently whisk your ingredients together until all have melted and are well combined and smooth. 
  4. Remove your mixing bowl from the double boiler and add in your egg and 1tsp cornflour. Whisk together thoroughly and return the mixing bowl to the double boiler to thicken. 
  5. Continue to whisk your cheese mixture until it has thickened. You will know it is ready when you can lift your whisk from the mixture and it leaves a very slight impression behind in the cheese.
  6. Cover your mixing bowl loosely with glad wrap to avoid a skin forming as your cheese mixture cools and set aside to come to room temperature. 
Tarts
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  2. Retrieve your frozen pastry from the freezer and set out two sheets on the benchtop to come to room temperature and become pliable.
  3. While you're waiting, take one of your pie tins and turn it upside down onto a piece of baking paper, trace around the outside with a pencil and cut out the circle with scissors. Repeat until you have four circles of baking paper.
  4. Scrunch up each piece tightly in your hands, then gently unravel it and set aside.
  5. Grease and dust four baking pans with plain flour and set aside.
  6. Once your pastry is workable, place two of your pre-prepared baking pans upside down onto one sheet of pastry, ensure they both fit, then trace around them with a sharp knife.
  7. Gently lift out your circle of pastry and press it into its respective baking pan. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry and last two pre-prepared baking pans. 
  8. Place one circle of baking paper into each baking pan atop your pastry and carefully pour in pie weights,/dried beans/uncooked rice to weigh it down.
  9. Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove your tarts from the oven, pour out the pie weights/dry beans/uncooked rice and remove the circle of parchment paper.
  11. Retrieve your cheese filling and divide it between your four tarts. Ensure you don't overfill your pans, leave roughly 5mm of exposed pastry at the top of each tart to allow enough room for your pears later on.
  12. Tap your pans lightly on the benchtop to level out your cheese filling and place on a level surface in the freezer for 30 minutes. 
  13. At the 15 minute mark, place a tray (be it a cupcake tray, lamington tray or even a casserole dish) half filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven, and preheat your oven back to 170 degrees Celsius. 
  14. Create your egg wash by combining 1 egg and 2tbsp full cream milk in a bowl and whisking until well combined.  Set aside. 
  15. Retrieve your pears from their poaching liquid and sit cut side down a piece of paper towel to absorb the excess liquid. 
  16. Using a sharp knife, cut your pears into a fan by creating lengthways cuts along each pear half roughly 0.5cm apart with each cut stopping just shy of the tip of the pear to ensure it holds together. 
  17. Once your 30 minutes is up, retrieve your tarts from the freezer, liberally paint your egg wash on top of both your cheese filling and pastry. Gently place your pears cut side down in the centre of your frozen cheese filling, and move your tarts to the oven to bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until golden. 
  18. Remove from the oven, dust with icing sugar and serve warm. 
  19. NOTE: The red wine flavour is a subtle one, so if you're a huge fan of red wine, I recommend pouring 1/2tsp of the red wine poaching liquid over the pear in each tart just prior to serving. 

NOTES:

EQUIPMENT x2 medium saucepans large metal or glass mixing bowl x4 round baking pans (12cm x 4cm) baking or parchment paper pie weights/dried beans/uncooked rice pencil/pen scissors sharp knife pastry brush paper towel
Created using The Recipes Generator
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