Hell, on the spot. After dinner, wife asks for ‘dessert’. Hmm. Ok, I have a fresh pear, a frozen chocolate press-in dough tart in the freezer, and..a little bit of time. What do you do?


I admit that I have no idea what I’m doing…simply following a path of gleaned knowledge and experience that is leading me now. I start off slicing the pear thinly, noting that it’s pretty ripe and fairly sweet, but nothing that a little sugar can’t hurt with its addition. I pull out my little 9″ sauté pan and toss a pat of unsalted butter in, and start to cook up the pear. I add a quarter teaspoon of my homemade vanilla essence and then…I think: almonds. I grab a small handful of slivered almonds and put them in the oven at 375F for a quick toasting…oops, and they come out too dark. I toss ’em and try again, cutting the time to five minutes. Ok. Perfect. I put them in the food processor and put them aside.

Meanwhile, the sautéed pears need something. Ah, of course, Disaronni Amaretto. I put about two tablespoons into the pear mix and continue sautéing until the pears are soft, almost creamy, and pleasantly aromatic. Am I doing the right thing? Was that too much amaretto?

The press-in chocolate dough tart shell is baking now; chocolate tart dough notorious because, its dark to begin with…when is it ready and ‘browned’? Ah, well…I’ve done this before.

Oh, shit! I didn’t lay out a piece of foil and put pie weights in to hold down the crust. It will start to rise without the pie weights to hold it flat so I take out the shell (it’s really only about 3 1/2″ across) line it with foil and load it up with pie weights. Otherwise, there won’t be room for any filling. Aagh.

How exciting is this? It’s like Star Trek where the Enterprise is about to be destroyed but Scotty pulls a miracle out of his ass and safes the day. Still–this is just a #%$@ing tart so lets not get carried away.

Ahh. Just checked the tart shell. Looking good, but I’m gonna give it another two minutes. We’ve still got time before The Good Wife at 9pm (yes, we are pathetic fans of this show).

Ah. Finished. I warmed up some chocolate drops (60% cocoa) and spread it over the pear mixture to give the whole thing a chocolatey-chocolate finish and it looks pretty good.

And you know, other than my wife thought it was a tad too sweet (and I thought it was a bit too chocolatey and hid the pear), it was totally yow.