Goals have been on my mind this past week. Goals, and of course cake. But mostly goals. I’ve been working on a paper for my class and it was on short and long-term goals as an educator. I was majorly distracted and a little frustrated. I began to wonder if I maybe have adult ADHD.To deal with my frustration, I baked. And baked some more. Eventually, I finished my paper. In a haphazard manner, it was complete and I felt incomplete. I was left wondering: do I really want to teach?
The other day I woke up to see I was number 1 on the top 9 on Foodbuzz on Wednesday for my Upside Down Banana Dulce de Leche Cake. I took a shot of the screen when I saw it. Dorky? A little. But hey, I was excited.
That was a pleasant and wonderful surpise!(Thanks to all the foodbuzz peeps that buzzed my recipe!) A family member told me it was great, but also posed an important question, “How are you going to make money with this?”
2) I could open the hottest and trendiest bakery in South Florida. People would stand in line for hours like they do for the Cake Boss to sample one of my galettes or cakes. Ensuing bakeries would open all over Italy.
4) I could run a famous cooking school in an old castle in Italy. Any part of Italy will do fine. Laura from Ciao Laura will book the tours to visit my incredibly informative and witty classes. We will both be reveling in this sweet success.
*When you flip your tarte, the fruit may slide around. That is no problem. Reassemble them. No one will know!
For the pastry
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
In a food processor, add the flour, salt, sugar and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and the lard (or shortening), and pulse until there are coarse crumbs. Add the water to the dough mixture a tablespoon at a time until when you pinch the dough, it sticks together. Take the dough out of the processor and form into a disc. Leave in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 415 F.
Cut the pears in half. Core the pears and take off the stems. Add to the bowl with 1/4 cup of sugar and lemon juice. Let it sit aside for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 9″ ovenproof skillet. I used my ancient cast-iron one. Add the 1 cup of remaining sugar and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat. It will turn golden brown and start to caramelize. As soon as it changes color, remove from the heat. Drain the pairs and arrange the pears over the caramel mixture. Cut side down and the stem end should go towards the center. Sprinkle the cinnamon and ginger over the pears.
Return the pan to the stove top and cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Make sure you keep the temperature at medium high, letting the sugar boil and caramelize. The high heat will help the sugar caramelize and the pears to cook a little. Now when I made this the other day, I got some crunchy pieces of caramel. I took those off and saved those to add to the top after when it was ready. Toffee crumbles topping! It is all good! You really can’t mess this up. Gently toss the pears around so they get nicely coated. Stir You want it to reduce until the you have a thick buttery caramel sauce. This syrup will be very hot, so don’t be tempted to touch it for a taste