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Roasted pear and cranberry crostata

October 20, 2010

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Makes one 9-inch crostata

9 Bosc pears, peeled, halved, and cored
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, sliced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 recipe pate brisee (see below)
1 recipe frangipane (see below)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 egg (lightly beaten)
2 tablespoons sanding, pearl, or granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In the baking dish, toss together the pears, ginger, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and butter. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the pears are soft when pierced with a knife. Leave to cool completely.

3. On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round. Set the dough on the parchment-lined sheet. With the back of a spoon, spread the frangipane in the middle of the dough, leaving a 3-inch border uncovered.

4. Place 8 pear halves, flat sides down and pointed ends toward the center, in a circle on the frangipane. Place 1 or 2 halves in the center to cover the round entirely. Sprinkle with half the cranberries. Use about 7 pear halves (reserve 1) to make a second layer, setting the pears in a slightly smaller circle, in the spaces left by the first layer. Sprinkle with the remaining cranberries. Make slits in the remaining pear half, stopping just short of the pointed end, to make a fan. Set it in the middle of the tart.

5. Starting at one end of the pastry, fold the dough up and over the fruit, forming 6 to 8 loose pleats around the perimeter. Press the pleats firmly onto the fruit. A circle about 3-to 4-inches in the center of the crostata will be exposed.

6. Refrigerate the crostata for 1 hour before baking.

7. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

8. Brush the pastry with egg, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the pastry at the pleats is golden brown and all of the folds are evenly browned with no underbaked bits in the finished round. Set the pan on a wire rack and cool for 2 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature. Adapted from “Flour: Spectacular Recipes From Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe’’