“On the First Day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a partridge in a pear tree.”
Of course, with such a verse, one of the first thing that comes into a foodie’s mind is a dish made with pears – poached pears, pear tart, pear salad, pear relish.
Now for the confession – I’m not crazy about pears. Peaches, apples, plums, pineapple…I love them all. But pears just have never appealed to me. I don’t care for their texture, or for their taste. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t like their shape, especially since my own body seems determined to copy it.
But it is a pear tree after all…not an apple tree, not a peach tree…not even a citrus like lemon or orange. A pear tree.
So a pear recipe it shall be. How about this one? I do have to confess the photograph looks quite yummy. Maybe it would be enough to change my opinion about the genus Pyrus.
This version of a French Pear Tart is obviously different from most tart recipes, in that the pears are left whole – they are merely peeled and poached before being inserted into a tart crust filled with an almond pastry cream. The crust is a shortbread dough, also known as a classic French Sable. Sables are a type of french butter cookie originating in Normandy, France.
Okay, Ocean – so much for the pears…what about the partridge? Hmmm…seems that I have put the dessert before the main course. Oops. Sorry about that, folks.
Whenever I look at pictures of that partridge, they remind me of quail – more specifically the Northern Bobwhite Quail. However, while they may look similar, Bobwhites and Partridges are not closely related and belong to different species – the Old World partridges referred to in the song are from the family Phasianidae while Bobwhites belong to the family Odontophoridae. But since I’m an American girl, I will go with my quail…especially since they remind me of my dearly departed father. Dad was a bird hunter, and kept English Setters for this purpose. Quail were his game bird of choice, and I grew up eating them on many an occasion.
The most common way Mom fixed them was simply to dredge the cleaned birds in flour and fry them up in her cast iron skillet. Mighty good eating, I must say. Partridge or quail can be fried, roasted, baked…fixed in a casserole or pie…or made into a soup. Basically they can be prepared like chicken. The meat is rather mild and not as gamey as it is with some other birds…I would compare it to eating a Rock Cornish Hen. If you’ve never eaten a game bird, give partridge (or quail) a try!
For more information and the recipe for making the French Pear Tart, check out this link: