Pear Tart with Walnut Pastry

pear tart

Check that baby out. It was my first time making this and if I can make it look and taste that good, you can too.

Ingredients

French Pastry
200g/8oz Plain (all-purpose) Flour
100g/4oz Caster (superfine) Sugar
100g/4oz Butter
50ml water
2 eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
40g/1.5oz Chopped walnuts
Filling
5 Pears
Sugar Syrup
50g/2oz Caster (superfine) sugar
300ml water

The Cooking

Crack the eggs and separate the yolks (don’t throw away the egg whites). Make a ring of flour on your chopping board. But the butter, egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon and water in the centre of the circle and mush it all together with your hands. Gradually draw the flour into the mush, flicking it in a bit at a time until the whole thing is mixed together well. It will seem quite wet but don’t worry about it. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Pop the whole lot in some cling film (saran wrap), wrap it up and put it in the fridge for an hour or so.

Peel and quarter the pears and carefully cut the cores out. Put the water and sugar into a pan and bring it to the boil. Let it boil for 10 minutes or so until it goes a bit glossy. Put the pear quarters in the sugar solution and simmer for about 4 minutes. Remove the pears from the liquid and set aside on some kitchen paper to dry and cool.

After an hour, take the dough out of the fridge. It should be slightly firmer. On a floured chopping board roll out two thirds the dough into a circle with a rolling pin until it is the right size to fit the tart dish. Carefully lift the rolled out dough by rolling it round the rolling pin and lifting it – if it’s sticky, put some flour on the rolling pin. This might take a couple of tries because it’s quite tricky, but persevere. Lay the dough onto the tart dish and press down gently so it fits the dish snugly. Don’t worry if the edges aren’t neat, you can either trim it and patch it or leave it as it is for that home-made look.

Now put the pear quarters in the dish in a circle with the thinner end towards the middle in a wheel shape. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.

Roll out the remaining third of the dough in a circle until it’s the right size to fit over the top of the pears and reach the edge. Stamp out a 3-inch circle in the middle of the dough (I used the end of a tin of beans, pressed into the middle of the dough). Now lift the ring of pastry and put it over the pears and smoosh the edges with the dough that’s lining the tart. Fold the edges of the dough that’s lining the dish over the edge of the top layer of dough.

Brush the dough with the egg white you reserved in a cup earlier – this will make it shiny when cooked.

Put the whole thing into the pre-heated oven for 30/35 minutes until it is golden brown. Sprinkle some sugar over the top and serve it hot or cold with cream or ice cream. Wickedly delicious.

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5 Responses to “Pear Tart with Walnut Pastry”

  1. Gyrate Says:

    Looks yummy. What kind of pears?

  2. 101things Says:

    You know, I don’t know. I got them at the farmer’s market because they were juicy. You could probably use any kind of pears you like, but a softer pear would work best.

  3. cookingandrecipereviews Says:

    That looks absolutely divine – what was your inspiration for it? I wish I could make something like that but here in New Hampshire right now all of our pears and apples and the like are as hard as stone and about as tasty. No I take that back, stone probably tastes slightly better.

  4. 101things Says:

    My inspiration was two-fold: first, I was supposed to make it in my French Provincial cookery class last week but couldn’t get there because the wind blew trees onto the roads (in London!) so I decided to have a go on my own. And secondly, pears are in season here and are lovely and juicy. Try it when they come into season there!

  5. almost vegetarian Says:

    Pears really are quite wonderful, aren’t they? I tend to eat them as is, or popped into the oven with a wee bit of chocolate sprinkled on top (good for a quickie family dessert), or layered in a custard tart (looks elegant for a more formal meal, but is horribly easy to do). This, however, looks quite lovely. Sort of a rustic tart meets pretty. Am adding it to the mile-long to-do list as we speak. Much thanks!


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