4 winter pears (red pears work well)
2 cups Claret wine
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
3 whole cloves
1/2 inch piece of stick cinnamon
1 slice fresh lemon
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup cold water
Wash pears. Pare but leave the stems on.
Combine in glass, or enamel saucepan large enough to hold the four pears; wine, water, sugar, cloves, cinnamon and lemon slice. Add pears. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove pears. Cool pears in refrigerator for slicing later.
Strain the remaining wine juice to remove spices. Return 2 cups of wine juice to saucepan and return to heat.
Combine corn starch with cold water whisking to make lump free. Gradually add corn starch liquid to heated wine until desired thickness and allow to bubble 1 minute.
Pour into glass bowl and chill thoroughly before glazing the finished tart.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream
Place flour, butter and sour cream in a bowl and beat to combine with a mixer. When dough has formed a ball, knead a few times with a little more flour before patting it into bottom and sides of ungreased round tart pan or au gratin dish. Bake 15 minutes until crust is set but not browned. Cool while preparing filling.
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4 egg yolks
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
Combine egg yolks, sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, sugar and flour and beat until smooth.
Remove chilled pears and slice them vertically into even slice. Arrange them overlapping edges on top of baked crust until it's completely covered.
Pour filling mixture over the pears. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour or until the custard sets and is pale golden in color. Cover with aluminum foil tent if the crust starts get too dark during the last few minutes of baking. Transfer tart to wire rack to cool.
Once the tart is cooled to room temperature, spread a layer of thickened wine glaze over the top. If the glaze has set up too much, microwave it for a few seconds to soften it for easier spreading.
Tart needs to be refrigerated, but it is best served closer to room temperature to help bring the flavors out.