'A real show stopper when brought to the table whole, this tart speaks autumn to me. You can prepare the individual components well in advance – the poached pears, frangipane and crumble mix – and then just assemble them when you are ready to cook. If you are short on time, you can easily omit the crumble and finish the tart with a scattering of chopped roasted hazelnuts instead.'
- Serves 4-6
- 3 pears (such as beurre bosc)
- 1/2 lemon
- 125g unsalted butter
- 3 tbs brown sugar
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 20g plain flour
- 2⁄3 cup (75g) ground hazelnuts
- 1 x 435g Careme vanilla bean or sour cream shortcrust pastry, or alternative butter shortcrust pastry
- Pure (thin) cream, to serve
- 1⁄3 cup (45g) hazelnuts
- 50g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
- 2⁄3 cup (100g) plain flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 40g demerara sugar
- Peel and core the pears, rub with the cut side of the lemon and cut each into eighths. Heat 50g butter with the brown sugar in a frypan over medium heat. When the brown sugar has melted, add the pears and cook for 4–5 minutes, turning carefully until just tender. Drain over a bowl, reserving the toffee sauce.
- For the frangipane, place the remaining butter and the caster sugar in a food processor and process until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, then pulse to combine. Add the flour and ground hazelnuts and pulse a few more times until just combined. Chill while you prepare the tart.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Meanwhile, for the crumble, spread the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and roast for 7 minutes. Place in a clean tea towel and rub the skins off. Allow to cool, then chop. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers. Mix in the cinnamon, sugar and hazelnuts. Spread onto a baking paper-lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until crisp and golden. Set aside
- Increase oven temperature to 200°C.
- Roll out the pastry to a 30cm x 25cm rectangle. Place on a lined baking tray. Spread with the frangipane, leaving a 2cm border. Lay the pears on top and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the crumble and return to the oven for a further 10–12 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.
- Meanwhile, gently warm the reserved toffee sauce in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Serve the tart with the sauce and drizzled with some cream.
Recipe reproduced courtesy of ABC Books, from Valli Little’s My Kind of Food, published April 2017. Photography by Alan Benson and styling by David Morgan.