Thanksgiving for me, and probably many other people coming from Europe, is not about typical American food. It is mostly about a four days-long weekend, meeting friends during these days and maybe finally having time to read a book that has already been renewed twice at the library and for which I have already had to pay a fine.
Last week, after I came home from a party, I found a message on the phone from my neighbors and friends with an invitation for a Thanksgiving lunch. There is nothing I could be more grateful for! Even better news is that it is not only going to be a delicious feast as always, but most of all VEGETARIAN!!
I made a couple of times the whole Thanksgiving meal myself, and I have witnesses--the invited guests, who could testify that all the dishes were wonderful and innovative, including a turkey breast roasted with rosemary and lemon. But I just feel like betraying myself and my guests, by cooking something that I do not try while preparing it and do not eat when it is ready. Ironically, I mean the turkey.
My all contribution to that lunch will be a cake. I still cannot decide between my no bake pomegranate cheesecake or pear and cranberries tart. I will make both and since the hostess prepares a pie I will probably decide to take the cheesecake. This way, on Friday morning I will have a piece of that tart with my morning coffee.
A simple pear tart seems bland to me. Adding sour cranberries to it compliments the sweetness of the pears nicely and makes the tart taste neither too dull nor too sour.
Pear and Cranberries Tart
Crust (for 10'' round baking pan)
2 sticks butter, cut into smaller pieces.
3 cups flour,
1/4 cup sugar,
2 egg yolks,
2 tbsp cold water,
pinch of salt.
3-4 soft pears, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin slices.
1 cup fresh cranberries,
2 tbsp ground almonds or bread crumbs,
1 cup sweet cream,
1/3 cup sugar.
1. In a large bowl put flour, salt, and butter, and working with hands make crumbs.
2. Mix egg yolks with sugar, until the mixture becomes smooth and pour it into the bowl.
3. Finally add cold water and form a dough (you may dust your hands with flour to make the dough less sticky).
4. Wrap the dough in plastic foil and chill it in a refrigerator. The dough can be made even a week ahead.
5. Take a cold dough from the refrigerator and leave for 20 minutes in room temperature to let it soften.
6. Roll it out to the size of the baking form on a surface dusted with flour and fill the tart form.
7. Preheat oven to 375F and bake crust for about 20 minutes, or until it starts to turn gold.
8. Mix together eggs with cream and sugar.
9. Take the crust from the oven, sprinkle it with ground almonds and cover with pear slices.
10. On top of the tart scatter cranberries and cover with egg and cream mixture.
11. Continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes.
12. You can serve it when it is still warm.