- BASIC SWEET PIE CRUST:
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
- 3 tablespoons ice water, or as needed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 pounds (about 4) Bosc pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup blueberries
- WHITE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM:
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk, plus 1 cup
- 1 vanilla bean
- 12 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup white chocolate
For the pie crust: Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening.
Rub the fats between your fingertips and thumbs, or use a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
One tablespoon at a time, work in enough ice water just until the dough comes together, being careful not to over mix. Shape into a smooth ball, flatten into a disc, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 days.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10 to 12-inch round that is 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan. Trim off any overhanging dough to make a 1/2-inch wide overhang. Flute the edges of the dough with your fingertips.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust is set, about 12 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place a large 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the pear slices to the pan, add the sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon to the pan and saute with the pears.
Make a slurry using the lemon juice, water and cornstarch, add this to the saute pan and cook for 3 minutes longer. Toss to blend, season with the salt, and remove from the heat. Add the blueberries to the pan and stir to blend. Place the fruit filling in the piecrust and place the tart in the oven. Bake the tart for 30 minutes and remove. Let cool for 15 minutes or longer.
For the ice cream:
Combine the cream and 1 cup of the milk in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the cream mixture and add the bean pod. Whisk the yolks and sugar in a medium bowl. In a slow and steady stream, whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Gradually whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Add the white chocolate to the custard, and stir constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.
Strain the custard through a fine- mesh sieve into a heatproof medium bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 cup milk into the ice cream base and cover with plastic wrap, press the wrap against the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream machine. Churn according to the manufacturers' instructions. Pack into an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.
Serve the torte with the white chocolate ice cream. Garnish with blueberries, mint and powdered sugar.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings