Pear, vanilla and praline tart
- October 2015
- Serves 10-12
- Hands-on time 50, oven time 1 hour 10-25
A pudding full of flavour from pears, vanilla and praline. This recipe is a winner for any dinner party dessert.
- 39.5g (17.6g)
- 49.6g (33.1g)
- 50g whole blanched hazelnuts
- 200g whole blanched almonds
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 4 firm conference pears, peeled, cored and halved
- Crème fraîche to serve
For the pastry…
- 250g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 120g unsalted butter, very cold
- 70g icing sugar
- 2 free-range egg yolks
- Splash ice cold water
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. For the pastry, sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Grate in the butter and mix with your fingertips to the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar, then add the egg yolks. Combine into a dough, adding a splash of ice cold water to bring it together (see tips). Wrap the pastry in cling film, then chill, along with a loose-bottomed 24cm x 5cm deep tin, for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, put all the nuts on a non-stick baking tray and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden but not brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- When the pastry has chilled, dust a work surface with flour. Unwrap the pastry and roll out into a circle the thickness of a pound coin – it must be large enough to fit the tin.
- Take the tart tin out of the fridge and loosely wrap the pastry around a rolling pin. Lift directly on top of the tin, then unroll gently into the tin, making sure it doesn’t tear. Gently press the pastry into all the flutes and edges, leaving an overhang. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the tart case from the freezer and line with baking paper. Fill with baking beans or rice and bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry edge is pale golden and crisp. Remove the beans/rice and paper, then return the tart case to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the pastry feels sandy and there are no grey patches. Set aside. Turn the oven to 160°C/140°C/gas 3.
- Blend the cooled nuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground – keep an eye on them and stop as soon as they’re ground or they’ll become oily. Transfer to a large bowl and add the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until well combined and a little paler. Using a large metal spoon, slowly fold in the eggs.
- Arrange the pear halves cut-side down in an even pattern in the case. Spoon the hazelnut and almond mixture on top of the pears, then bake for 55-65 minutes until golden. 8. Leave the tart to cool slightly, then carefully remove from the tin to cool further. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of crème fraîche.
This recipe makes more than you’ll need for 6 people, but the leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 days (see Carina’s introduction). Warm through in a microwave or medium oven before serving.
This makes enough praline for quite a deep tart tin. If you only have a shallow one, freeze any leftover mixture, rolled into small flattened balls, then bake from frozen at 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 until golden to make nutty biscuits.
Do add the water to the pastry at step 1, even if it looks like it doesn’t need it. It will make it much easier to roll out and use to line the tin.
Make the tart up to 24 hours in advance, then keep in a sealed container in a cool room or the fridge. Heat through 10-15 minutes to serve it warm. You can make the pastry on its own in advance. Wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge for 1-2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
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