Pears, cheese and nuts are a classic combination, something that for me is purely Tuscan. Just add honey. The cheese is usually a pecorino or a taleggio and the nuts walnuts. I admit that some rather ripe leftover Brie was what I had to hand, as were the pears and the pistachios which I really wanted to put into something for a recent supper. I figured it could be good. This tart is surprising, the melty brie is nice and strong with the sweet pears and the crunchy nuts. Easy supper with some rocket salad and even better cold the next day which is really why I like to make tarts. They taste so good the next day.

The recipe for the pastry comes from a fabulous book, Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, published by Phaidon which is one of the gorgeous side effects of The Rose Bakery to be found in the 9th arrondissement in Paris, a well known bakery and coffee shop that I have yet to actually go to. But never mind, I live vicariously through Rose’s book….despite the fact that it would take me only about 20 minutes to walk there.

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Ingredients
3 pears
80 gr fresh unsalted and shelled pistachios
half a generous slab of ripe brie
salt and pepper
3 eggs
1 pot greek yogurt

For the pastry – shortcrust pastry recipe is from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea.

250 gr flour
125 gr unsalted butter
1 egg
1 cup water

half teaspoon of salt

Making
Break the butter into small pieces and start to mix it in with the flour either by hand or in a food processor. When the mixture is crumbly and well combined make a well in the center and add the egg. Fold the mixture together and add a little water to start bringing the dough together. Keep working the dough until it forms a rough dough adding water as necessary until it’s not too wet nor too dry.
Chill for 30 minutes in some cling wrap.
Preheat oven to about 180° and bake the tart case blind. Take it out after about 20 minutes and set aside to cool while you make the filling.

For the filling
Whisk eggs, and then mix in the yogurt. Use a knife or your fingers, rip the brie into rough slices and pieces, not too chunky and avoid the skin. Then slice the pears, keeping the skins on and toss them in a hot dry pan with a teaspoonful of brown sugar.
Lower the heat and keep tossing them until they soften in their own juices and start to smell sweet and are soft to the touch. Take them off the heat. Pour the egg mixture over the tart base and place the caramelized pear slices evenly over the surface of the tart base in the egg mixture. Distribute the brie pieces evenly over the pear pieces ensuring some brie for each pear piece. Sprinkle liberally with the pistachios and season with black pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Remove and let cool before serving. Serve sprinkled liberally with the black sesame seeds.
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