Wow, this was a decided hit, definitely a do-again. Easy to make, good warm or cold. Yum. Start with some nice fall pears:
The peeled and chopped pears are stirred into a simple, hand-mixed batter. Since we frequently find dessert recipes too sweet, I cut back the sugar (sucre de canne) a bit, but only a bit, since several Cooking Italy folks found the tart not sweet enough. I used maybe 7/8 cup, rather than one whole cup.
The instructions say to make hollows in the batter at this point, optionally poke whole cloves into them, and fill with the hollows bits of butter. We're not clove fans here, so I omitted these, but I also (accidentally, I admit) neglected the butter-filled holes altogether and can't say that we felt it lacked anything and it was certainly that much healthier animal-fat-wise. Into the oven it went butter-less and came out delicious:
My cake pan was only 8 inches, rather than 9, so the tart might be a trifle deeper than it ought to be, but nobody complained.
Someone (I forget who, sorry) at Cooking Italy suggested adding some chopped walnuts. Very finely chopped and sprinkled on the bottom, this might be quite nice. Having disavowed the cloves, I thought a bit of ground cardamon in the batter might be nice; that's a spice that seems to go very well with pears. (Try it in pear butter sometime.) Next time ...