September 23, 2023


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Red Wine Poached Pear Crostata

Red Wine Poached Pear Crostata


For the Dough:

1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour 

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small pieces 

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1⁄4 cup ice water

1 large egg, beaten, for egg wash 

For the Poached Pears:

4 firm but ripe pears, peeled (bosc work well)

750-ml bottle merlot

2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

2 star anise

4 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 tsp ground cardamom 

Juice and peel of one lemon 

1 vanilla bean, opened and scraped

2 cinnamon sticks

For the Crostata: 

1 tbsp butter, cubed 

Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

1 egg white 



Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

To Make the Dough:

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is in pea-size pieces. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and ice water. Slowly pour the vinegar water into the food processor, pulsing to combine. Pulse just until the dough begins to hold together. Transfer it to a clean work surface and pat together. Shape the dough into a round. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

To Make the Poached Pears:

Cut pears in half lengthwise, then use a melon baller to core out the seeds from the bottom of the pear. Using a vegetable peeler, make 4 or 5 strips of lemon peel. 

In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except for the pears. Cook over medium heat, making sure to stir, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Add the pears. The liquid should fully cover the pears. Reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are tender, but not too soft. About 20 minutes. Remove the pears from the pot and set aside to cool. Once cooled, cut very thin slits down the pears lengthwise, making sure a substantial bit at the top is left uncut. You want to be able to fan out your pears, while still intact. If you want, you can boil the remaining poaching liquid until it has thickened and reduced, and use it to drizzle over finished crostata. 

To Assemble the Crostata: 

On a floured surface, roll out your dough. It should be about ¼ inch thick, and have an extra 2 inches around to fold over the pears. Place pears in the middle of the dough, however methodically or haphazardly as you please. Fold the remaining dough over the pears, creating little tucks along the way. There should be a bit of pear covered by dough, and naturally the edges will look imperfect. Scatter butter cubes on top of the pears. Make an egg wash by whisking the white of an egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Sprinkle additional raw sugar over the pears. Bake the crostata for 35-40 minutes. Until the pears are soft and the crust is golden brown.