In case you haven’t heard, Stone Brewing Co. has recently released a delightful Saison that embodies all that is summertime and awesomeness. This Saison is inspired by the farm that Stone purchased in 2011 that fuels the creativity of the restaurant and (duh) their beers. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Stone beer if it wasn’t on the hoppy-side in terms of flavor but it also sports notes of citrus and bright herbs to compliment the hops. What I really like is the dry finish, it’s super tasty.
What to make with this complex and delicious beer? I decided to use my newly honed pie skills and make a tart with some ripe pears. I love a good poached pear and why not poach some pears in beer? I thought it was a good idea too.
1/2 cup cornstarch
5 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup honey
1 1/4 cups AP flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick of cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 pears, cut into slices
1 12 bottle of Stone Saison
1. Make the filling first, it will take 3 hours to cool in the fridge. Combine egg yolks, cornstarch, milk and honey in a large saucepan and whisk together. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly. The mixture will begin to thicken after 5-10 minutes, and once it starts to boil and thicken whisk for another minute on low heat and press through a fine mesh sieve into a separate bowl. Put plastic wrap on the pudding (touching the top of the pudding) and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
2. Make the tart crust next. Put the flour, salt, sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse together. Add 1 tablespoon at a time of water or beer to the mixture until it just comes together to look like sand and sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Gather the dough into a ball and shape into disks in plastic wrap and place in the fridge until cold, at least 30 minutes.
3. Cut pears into slices and place in a medium to large saucepan over high heat with the rest of the beer and 2 cups of water (or enough to cover the pears) and cook until beer and pear juices are very reduced, about 45 minutes. Remove pears and place in a bowl and cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Cook reduced beer down with some honey + a dash of sugar and bring to a boil to make an additional caramel (optional).
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out crust to 1/4 inch thickness and press lightly into either mini tart pan or one large 9 inch tart pan. I used mini tart pans. Freeze the dough in the tart pans for 15 minutes, prick with a fork so it doesn’t get puffy while baking. Bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating once halfway through bake time. Let cool completely.
5. Assemble the tart by spooning the pudding into the cooled tart shells and place the cooked pears on top of the pudding. Cool about an hour before serving. Don’t let sit more than 3 hours so you don’t want to assemble the tart until you are basically ready to serve these tarts. The pudding is a little runny but it’s delicious. You can increase the thickness by adding agar agar or greek yogurt or marscapone, if desired. Drizzle pear/beer caramel over the top (optional).
These tarts were wonderful. They were exactly what I desired after a warm summer day, sitting on the patio with friends and family.