Cranberry-Pear Tart in a Walnut Shortbread Crust
Make the crust: Position a rack near the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk, yogurt, vanilla (½ teaspoon) and oil. Put the flour (1 ½ cups), sugar (3 tablespoons), and salt in a food processor; pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarsely ground cornmeal.
With the processor running, add the yolk mixture in a steady stream and then pulse until the moisture is fairly evenly dispersed, 10 seconds or just until the mixture comes together. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Gently knead in the chopped walnuts to distribute them evenly. The dough will be a bit of a crumbly mass.
Pour the mixture into a 9 ½-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Starting with the sides of the pan, firmly press the crumbs against the pan to create a crust about ¼ - inch thick. Press the remaining crumbs evenly against the bottom of the pan. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork and freeze for about 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and bake until the sides just begin to darken and the bottom is set, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Peel the pears, quarter them lengthwise, core, and cut crosswise into 1/4 -inch-thick slices.
In a food processor, coarsely chop the cranberries. In a medium bowl, mix the pears and cranberries. In a small bowl, mix the sugar (2/3 cup), flour (2 teaspoons), cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt (dash); add to the cranberry-pear mixture, tossing to combine. Spoon the filling into the par-baked crust, leveling the filling and pressing it down slightly.
Make the streusel and bake: In a small bowl, mix the flour (⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon), brown sugar, and salt (dash). Add the melted butter and vanilla (1/4 teaspoon). Combine with a fork or your fingers until the mixture begins to clump together in small pieces when pressed. Sprinkle the streusel over the filling, breaking it into smaller pieces if necessary.
Bake until the fruit is tender when pierced with a fork and the streusel and the edges of the crust are golden brown, about 50 minutes. If the tart begins to get overly brown at the edges, cover with foil. Let the tart cool on a rack – It’s best when fresh from the oven still slightly warm.
Adapted from: Fine Cooking Tarts and Crisps
In Your Glass
This is a dish that you could take in a few different directions in terms of a wine partner and demonstrates that there’s never just one ideal wine option with food. Doug and I might even continue with the Shafer Merlot or perhaps we would move on to a white Port, which would go nicely with the pear and do a lovely dance with the walnut, all-spice and cardamom. Yet another delicious option is Shafer’s Firebreak®, a Cabernet Sauvignon dessert wine made in the style of late-bottled vintage Ports from Portugal. Not overly sweet, this wine offers an ultra-plush Cabernet richness sure to please.