During the month of March Australian Pear Growers are celebrated Australian Pear Month, and as part of those celebrations I was sent a box of beautiful pears to inspire a delicious pear creation to celebrate pears. I couldn’t wait to join in and celebrate pears, so I thought for some time about what I would make. However the month of March quickly slipped away from me. First there was my fiance’s foot surgery and nursing him back to health, then there was my birthday and following that was a visit from my parents. Before I knew it there were only a few days left in March and I still hadn’t come up with a pear creation.
I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate pears, because quite frankly they are on of my favourite fruits, so last night, when I couldn’t sleep, I tossed around different pear ideas before finally settling on this pear tart.
This pear tart is a little different in that the pears are poached in a mixture of Pedro Ximinez, Vanilla Bean, water and sugar, until they are beautifully fragrant and soft. Two of the pears are then pureed and combined with eggs, sugar and flour and baked into a delicious tart shell. To top off my pair creation I dusted the top with some cocoa, because, well, pears and chocolate just go so amazingly well together.
We just ate a slice of this tart, and I have to say it was everything I hoped for, and especially delicious served with the remaining poached pears and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
So, I’m entering my Vanilla Pear Tart with Vanilla Poached Pears in the ‘What can you pair with a pear’ challenge on the Australian Pears Facebook page.
- POACHED PEARS:
- 6 pears, peeled
- 1 cup of Pedro Ximinez* (See Note)
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- TART DOUGH:
- 145g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 75g of icing sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup of ground almonds
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 245g of plain (all-purpose) flour
- PEAR FILLING:
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups of caster sugar
- 2 of the poached pears, core and stalk removed and pureed
- 3 tablespoons of the poaching liquid
- ¾ cup of plain (all purpose) flour
- cocoa to serve
- Start by poaching the pears. Combine the Pedro Ximinez, water, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the sugar is disolved and increase the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the pears and poach for 10 minutes or until soft.
- To make the tart dough, place the butter in a large food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the icing sugar and process until well combined. Add the ground almonds, salt, vanilla and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary before adding the egg and processing until combined. Finally, add the flour and pulse the mixture until it just starts to form a ball and stop. Remove the mixture from the food processor bowl and place onto cling film and form into two flat discs. Wrap each disk separately and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, you can freeze the 2nd dough disk to use another time.
- Once chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick.
- Carefully place the dough into a 24cm tart tin and press the dough against the bottom and edges of the tin to ensure it is well fitted. If the dough cracks or splits simply patch with additional pastry. Trim the top of the tart – the easiest way to do this is to roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart case which will trim the edges neatly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and line the tart with baking paper and add dried beans or pastry weights and bake for 15 minutes until lightly coloured. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.
- To make the filling, preheat the oven to 150 celsius (300 Fahrenheit) whisk the eggs and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until well combined. Add the pears before sifting the flour over the top and whisking until smooth.
- Pour the filling into the prepared tart cases and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is set. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate to set completely.
- When ready to serve dust with cocoa and serve with the remaining poached pears and vanilla bean ice cream.
Delicieux receive pears from Impact Communications on behalf of the Australian Pear Growers to inspire this recipe.