Take your time and work on each component individually. You can do this and I guarantee you will love the result! Good luck and have fun!
2 large eggs
3 Tbsps. cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream (Ms. Beranbaum's recipe calls for Half & Half, but I like to use cream)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Follow the slideshow & captions above for the method. Play the slideshow several times. Things progress quickly once you start cooking and you won't have time then for review.
Combine 4 cups water, the juice and zest of one lemon, 2 cups sugar in a saucepot and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Follow the slideshow & captions above for the method. When the pears are poached, carefully remove them to a lidded container and cool in the refrigerator.
Once your pears are poached you have a choice to make about the poaching liquid. It can be strained, cooled and saved in the refrigerator to poach other fruits or as a syrup to sweeten tea. The syrup which had just a pleasant lemon flavor at the start now has more complex fruit flavors added by the pears. You can start from scratch to make the caramel sauce but if you don't need to save the poaching liquid, and you have the time to boil it down until the sugars begin to caramelize, you can use it to make the sauce. This is what I have done for this presentation. The flavor of the resulting caramel will 'fit' this tart since the fruit has flavored it.
8 Tbsps. unsalted butter, cold, cut in 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp heavy cream