It’s the last day of winter, and the remnants of the last snow and sleet, have finally vanished. Outside the sun is peeking out from the cover of grey clouds that are quickly being usurped by the blue. Spring will be here tomorrow, that lovely season where everything comes alive. It isn’t warm yet, but like Hemingway once said “…With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning”! Perhaps, that morning isn’t too far away, or perhaps I am now desperately seeking the sun after weeks of rain and snow. So today to celebrate the end of winter I ended up baking the last of the pears for the season into a tart with an Almond Mascarpone Cream. Decadence you say? Oh yes it is! I poured so much time into it, though it is extraordinarily easy to make, that I forgot about making lunch. But, on days like this when I am super hyper active, I couldn’t let that go with just leftovers, so I made myself a bowlful of Kimchi Fried Rice topped with the ubiquitous fried egg. I’m happy and I can’t wait to have more such days of energy and craziness – seems they are my most productive.
If you are wondering why a simple tart took so much of my time that I almost forgot to make lunch, then I should clarify. I spent a good deal of time photographing it. I was challenging myself to come up with different compositions and layouts. Take a look and let me know if I succeeded.
Here is my lunch from today….
The recipes are below, in case anyone is interested. Please DO NOT reuse/reprint/download any of these pictures, they are copyright of Photopportunist/Shruthi Venkatasubramanian and cannot be used in any form without my explicit permission.
Pear Almond Tart
1 Store bought 9 inch pie crust
5 tbsp butter (room temperature)
5 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp almond flour
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp almond extract or 2 tsps amaretto
2 bosc pears, peeled and sliced
For The Amaretto/Almond Mascarpone Cream
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp almond extract or 3 tsp amaretto
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
Preheat oven to 350F
Cream together butter and sugar about 3 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add almond flour and regular flour. Add egg, and amaretto/almond extract and cream till the ingredients are all just combined. Press the store bought pie into the tart pan and do not stretch the dough. Peel and slice the pears into thin slices. Spread the almond filling into the bottom of the tart. It will not fill the tart to the top, but it will rise during baking. Press the pears into the filling, keep the pears in the same shape when you slice so you can place them as is. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely. For the cream by whip mascarpone and heavy cream until thick, add powdered sugar, amaretto/almond extract, and vanilla.
Kimchi Fried Rice
1 cup leftover long grain or basmati rice
1 stalk green onions
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pod of garlic, chopped
1/4 – 1/2 cup kimchi without juice, chopped
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
In a frying pan, heat some oil and add the chopped onions,chopped white part of green onions and garlic and sautee till the onions become translucent and begin to change color. Add the kimchi and sautee till it begins to brown. Now add the rice and soy sauce and fry till the rice isn’t sticky anymore and starts to brown. In the same pan, after removing the kimchi fried rice, fry one egg with a tiny bit of salt and until the yolk is just about runny. Top the rice with the egg and sprinkle the rest of the green onions and eat up! Takes all of 15 mins to whip this up!