PEAR AND ALMOND TART
A decadent yet light dessert that deserves to be shared, this pear tart is the showstopper recipe you need to give your guests something to talk about.
1 x sweet pastry, rolled, lined and large tart shell or 6–8 tartlet shells (see page 188)
icing sugar for sprinkling
450g castor sugar 2 litres water 100ml lemon juice
6–8 fresh pears, peeled and cored, but stalk intact
200g unsalted butter 200g icing sugar
200g ground almonds 4 eggs
6–8 pears, left whole or halved
(see tip) from the syrup
For the syrup, in a large saucepan, bring the sugar, water and lemon juice to the boil over a high heat. Poach the pears in the syrup, covered with a weighted- down cartouche, for approximately 15 minutes. The pears are ready when a knife easily pierces the flesh. Remove them from the syrup and allow to cool.
Alternatively, store the pears in the syrup in the fridge to preserve for a day or two if required.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
To make the almond cream, combine all the ingredients and mix until well blended.
Note: Depending on the size of the tart mould used for the pastry, there are various ways to place the pears. Pictured below, I used a straight-edged, spring-form tin that created tall sides so that the pears could stand upright. If you use a shallow tart base, slice the pears in half and fan them out slightly.
To assemble the tart, spread the almond cream over the base of the pastry shell (filling about two-thirds of the shell). If necessary, you can always add more, keeping in mind that the mixture will rise slightly. Arrange the pears in the almond cream. Bake for 50 minutes (or a bit less if making tartlets). Remove and allow to cool.
Chef Tjaart Walraven
Tjaart Walraven is the exciting, fresh new face on the celebrity chef circuit, best known as a presenter on three seasons of the top rated “The Great South African Bake-off” on BBC Lifestyle. His deliciously fresh recipes are simple to follow and great for weekday family meals as well as for serving to a crowd.
Recipe courtesy of his latest book Summer Food, available here.