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Star anise, brown butter, spelt, and pecans, make for a crunchy, crumbly crust for this lightly sweetened pear tart. If you already have the brown butter, this is pretty quick to make. But, even if you don’t, the brown butter really does not take long, it usually takes me 13 minutes to brown mine. Optimize your time by making two batches at once, one with the star anise and a plain version. If you haven’t noticed, I am so enamoured with brown butter that it gets its own category on this site!
Alright, now let’s talk about the low sugar part. I’ll share more on this in another post, but I have been following a 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of sugar a day regime. That’s 6 teaspoons maximum, and it’s based on recommendations from the World Health Organization. If you make this recipe in a 10 inch springform pan, and cut it into 8 slices, each serving (without the decorative sugar dusting) has 4 teaspoons, or about 16 grams of sugar.
I used spelt for this recipe, as I’m working on my new year’s resolution to “be curious” by trying different grains. If you don’t have any spelt on hand, regular wheat flour or whole wheat flour work too. The texture will be different though, the spelt is crumbly, like a graham cracker crust, while the wheat will be more like shortbread. Still very yummy!
8 servings (based on 10 inch springform pan)
- 1/2 cup brown butter, made with 1/4 teaspoon star anise
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1/3 cup ground pecans
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 6 cups of sliced pears (I’ve used Fiorello and also Bosch. This is also nice as a mix of apple and pear.)
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Make the brown butter, adding 1/4 teaspoon star anise. Once done, set aside until cool. Strain out the star anise.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, spelt flour and pecans.
- Press the mixture into a 10 inch springform pan and bake at 400 for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice up the fruit. Put the fruit in a medium size bowl and toss with the 1/3 cup sugar, fresh orange juice, and cornstarch.
- Once the crust has baked for 12 minutes, add the fruit filling and return to the oven.
- Bake at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes until the pears are soft and golden.
- Eat! This is fantastic with whole plain Greek yogurt.
Below are the Fiorello pears that inspired this tart. None were killed in the making – they died a more brutal death, straight into my mouth!