So in HK there’s this cooking show called ‘Beautiful Cooking’ based on pseudo models who essentially have to ‘cook’ for a guest panel of male judges while wearing skimpy outfits.
Screw that, we got our own ”美女廚房” right here except we can actually produce something quite impressive. So here is the final step. I usually do this about two hours before serving it to ensure that the crust is still crisp and not soggy- but I know how hard that is to time. And gainm you can find the full recipe here:
Remove pears from poaching liquid. Pour poaching liquid into medium saucepan; boil until syrup is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Chill wine syrup until cold.
Cut pears lengthwise in half. Scoop out cores and center veins; cut off stems. Place pears, cut side down, on triple-thick layer of paper towels. Cover with triple-thick layer of paper towels. Pat pears dry, changing paper towels as needed to absorb excess liquid. Cut each pear half lengthwise into 4 to 6 slices.
Spread pastry cream in crust. Arrange pear slices decoratively atop pastry cream, covering completely. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover loosely and chill.)
Scatter caramelized pistachios over tart. Cut tart into wedges and serve with wine syrup.
I cut out the caramelized pistachios (I did almonds for Stacy’s) because I thought then there were too many complex and overwhelming flavours and textures from just a slice. Rather, I substituted this by making a vanilla bean cream. My cousin took me to an American bulk buy grocery store in Sheung Wan called ‘Gateway’ and lo! I found five vanilla beans in a test tube for $88! What a steal! Actually perhaps not but I will pretend like it’s cheap and whip them out occasionally when the dessert deserves a little more class. Kidding.
Agnes and I divvied the pear tarts: the largest one went to my coworkers while we gobbled one up as a tester, one for my cousin, the other for a friend and Agnes took the other two.
When tea time came at our office, at the sight of the tart one coworker goes, “who are you???”
I am Sara Lee and Betty Crocker reborn as a Chinese. Kidding.
And what did our guest judge give us out of ten? 9.5/10: 0.5 off because the crust was a little too thick.