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.
200g/8oz Plain (all-purpose) Flour
100g/4oz Caster (superfine) Sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
40g/1.5oz Chopped walnuts
50g/2oz Caster (superfine) sugar
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.