kevin forwarded to me your call for recipes. here's one i just invented this week for steve badget and his friend paul who came to dinner. i'll call it pear cashew cream tart.

required: one springform pan 10" diameter
one pot with lid to bake pears in
preheat oven to 350

crust:
2 1/4 cup flour, unbleached, wheat (you can substitute up to one cup brown rice flour or other nut
flour. hazelnut is nice)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter at room temp.

in food processor whisk together dry ingredients. add butter in small pieces until all processed together. you should have a dry, yet buttery meal. Press into springform pan to form an even layer about 3/8 inch thick and bake in oven until lightly brown, approximately 30 minutes.

Pears:
3-4 pears
1 stick cinnamon
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
water

place whole pears, sitting upright in a covered pan with one stick of cinnamon, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp chopped ginger and water to cover bottom of pan with 1/2 inch water. Put pears in oven at same time as crust. Pears should take about the same amount of time. You are looking for soft and juicy, but not collapsing.

Cashew cream:
1 cup cashews, raw, pieces or whole (not roasted)
1 meyer lemon (can substitue other kinds of lemon)
1/4 tsp of lemon oil (or extract, oil is better)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2-3 dates

Soak cashews in water for half an hour (while crust and pears are baking). Drain cashews and put in food processor. Soak dates for five minutes in one cup water. Add dates and date water to food processor (no pits). Zest lemon and add to food processor. Peel lemon, quarter inside and add to mixture. Add lemon oil and maple syrup. Process until smooth. Taste to balance lemon and sweetness. If necessary add more of one or other.

To assemble: With crust still in springform pan, coat surface of crust with enough cashew cream to create layer about 1/4 inch thick. Slice pears into thin cored slices. Arrange in overlapping layers on the cashew cream. Place dollop of cream in center on top of pear slices. Serve at room temperature by removing springform outer circle. A good knife will cut smoothly through the layers.

Have fun. Its tasty. Many variations, of course are available. I like the mild cashew flavor, but another nut could be substituted, though most would need to be soaked longer. Also, a more traditional creme anglais could be used.

 

Catherine Harris