Spring is almost here and you can feel it indoors and outdoors.
It's that time to change it up when it comes to cooking, baking and eating. I prefer to make the transition slowly. Rather than go on a detoxifying semi-fast diet, let's take it bit by bit. As history goes, this is the time of year I go off the hill for book signings and research.
A couple years ago I traveled to Seattle on the first day of spring. In the morning it was a Starbuck's coffee, a plain bagel, and fresh strawberries. Then onto the hotel pool and hot tub before a book signing event in the early afternoon.
It was exciting being in the Pacific Northwest — a place I've been and continue to visit — and it was next up the next day.
But this year it's Reno for March. The eating style is similar (as well as swim and hot tub), but here in town. Instead of a big wintertime breakfast, a slice of a semi-homemade fruit tart and coffee is what I'm dishing up for me and you.
Fresh Pear Tart
1 pie pastry (Pillsbury)
3 large, firm pears, washed, peeled, cored, sliced
2 tablespoons European style butter
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Fresh lemon juice to taste
1 egg white
Take pie pastry out of the refrigerator, let rest for 15 minutes. Slice pears. In a bowl, mix pears, butter, sugar, flour, and juice. Place pastry on foil. Brush egg white on top to keep crust firm. Mold into a rectangle and crimp edges nicely like a border. Place pears inside.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour or until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbly.
*Try warming up your favorite apricot or strawberry organic jam and spread the glaze on top. Cool for 15 minutes. Cuts nicely. Sprinkle with sugar. Sliced almonds (optional) and fresh pear slices can pretty it up. Serves six. Perfect for a breakfast or brunch pastry or dessert.
So, this pear tart is ideal for Saint Patrick's Day and the change of seasons. Also, it's a perfect starter for thinking lighter with less calories, less sugar and less fat. It's a time to lose unwanted winter weight but there's no rush.
Do it the easy way, like a day trip instead of a week-long getaway and a tart instead of pie.
Cal Orey, M.A. is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.