Pear Tart à la Mode
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup ice water
10 small pears
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup Armagnac
1 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoon maple syrup
For the dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter and using two knives scissors style, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles very coarse sand. Add the yolk and the water and mix to combine. The dough should just barely hold together, if it doesn’t add more cold water a little at a time. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 1 minute. Until it comes together. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic film, Refrigerated until well chilled, at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350. Chill a baking sheet in the freezer and six plates in the refrigerator.
For the filling, peel the pears and thinly sliced them. Melt the butter in a large ovenproof nonstick sauté pan and add vanilla. Cook until the sugar has melted and is lightly golden. Add the pears and cook over medium heat until the fruit gives up its liquid and it has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the Armagnac and cook until the fruit is softened and lightly golden, another 10 minutes or so. Place in the oven to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile roll out the dough to less than 14 inch thick. Using a ring mold cut out 6 circles of dough. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Cool on a rack.
To serve the dessert, you must quickly work as possible, as the ice cream will melt quickly. Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and place a ring mold on top of each. Fill each ring mold about halfway with the pear mixture and flatten the top with a spoon. Remove the molds and clean them.
Place the ring on the chilled baking sheet and fill each about halfway with ice cream. Using a large spatula, transfer the ice cream, in the molds, to the six chilled plates. Remove the ring molds and top with the pear tarts, pressing down to connect the tart crust and ice cream. Drizzle the maple syrup evenly over each dessert. Serve immediately.
"A Return to Cooking” by Eric Ripert and Michael Ruhlman