Charlotte aux Poires

charlotte_aux_poires_1 (8 of 10)

charlotte_aux_poires_1 (7 of 10)

charlotte_aux_poires_1 (9 of 10)

charlotte_aux_poires_1 (10 of 10)

Written by Rae

Normally I like to make simple things that involve 1 or 2 mixing bowls max.  However, recently I found some motivation to push myself a little harder and to start making some things that challenge me.  I used to think that I would just wait until I attended pastry school to attempt some more difficult techniques, but it’s never too early to get started.  Therefore, I saw this charlotte as a great way to train myself and prepare for the day when I do enter pastry school.

I also really wanted to make something using the bartlette pears we found (canned) at Bangsan Market.  They were only 4,000 won for a large can.  Here in Korea, we have to buy canned bartlette pears because they only have the large asian pears, which are less sweet and have a very different texture.

For starters, I made the lady fingers.  I made a bunch of little ones around 1cm thick, and then I made two big disks.  One for the bottom, and one for inside the cake.  I made each of the lady fingers individually for the edge, although next time I will probably just pipe them in one long strip and put that around the cake.

It was my first time making lady fingers and they turned out very well.  I need to refresh my memory on whipping eggs because I get the peaks confused with cream.  I was unsure if I was doing the process right, but they turned out great.  They were soft and fluffy, and slightly golden on the outside.Lady fingers.

After, I made the pear Bavarian cream.  I let half of a vanilla bean steep in boiling milk and combined it with egg yolks to make a custard.  Next, I dropped into some gelatin and added some diced pears, then blended everything with an immersion blender.  Last, I folded in whipped cream and let it cool.

Pear bavarian cream.
Pear Bavarian cream.

After the cream cooled, I lined the spring form pan with lady fingers that I had soaked with a pear vanilla syrup.

charlotte_aux_poires_1 (4 of 10)

I lay down some cream, and added some diced pears in the middle.  After, I put another disk of lady fingers on top and put another layer of cream.

charlotte_aux_poires_1 (2 of 10)

charlotte_aux_poires_1 (5 of 10)

charlotte_aux_poires_1 (6 of 10)

After the second layer of cream, I put it in the fridge to chill.  It chilled for about 2-3 hours.  When it was done chilling, I topped the cake with diced pear, and put a glaze on top to make them shine.  I topped them off with a pickled cherry blossom, which we picked up last year in Japan.  To finish the cake, I tied a pink ribbon around it.  It ended up looking really beautiful and was a perfect thing to bake for spring.  The cherry blossom on top looked really nice, and was appropriate because right now in Korea, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

Overall, I was really happy with the results.  Not only did the lady fingers turn out great, but the pear cream was sinful.  It was soooooo good (yes, I do need that many Os).  Normally in desserts, we might be used to eating a pear slice, so I wasn’t sure what the expect from pear flavored cream.  But, holy moly!  It was full of pear flavor!  There is no doubt that I will definitely be making this again.  I ended up sharing it with some old and new adoptee friends that we met for dinner that night for Korean food, which I was really happy to do.  Nothing like bringing people together through homemade sweets!

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