Poached Pear Tart

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This recipe was created for us by chef Jack Greenall of Smoke and Thyme and will feature in his Locavore Harvest Feasts menu.  This tart is a great way to show of the beauty of one of the seasons tastiest local fruits.

What you need:

For the Poached Pears

  • 6 pears, ideally not quite ripe
  • 1 bottle white wine (eg riesling) OR red wine (eg cabernet sauvignon)
  • 125g sugar
  • 2-3 pieces of orange or lemon peel
  • 4 cardamom pods or 1tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 sprig rosemary or 2 bay leaves
  • Generous pinch of nutmeg or mace
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, diced

For the Creme Patissiere

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 400ml double cream
  • 75g ground almonds
  • seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod / one tsp vanilla essence

For the Pastry use your preferred recipe or visit smokeandthyme.com for Jack’s version


What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Peel the pears, cut in half and scoop out the cores and discard. Place pear halves in a saucepan of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice (to stop them going brown).
  2. In a separate saucepan, make the poaching liquor by combining wine, sugar and all the herbs and spices and bring to the boil. Stir to ensure sugar has dissolved then remove from heat. Drain pears and transfer them to the poaching liqueur.
  3. Cut a circle of parchment the same size as saucepan and put over the top of the pears to keep them submerged. Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 mins, or until the pears are soft enough that a sharp knife can pierce them with little to no resistance. Remove from poaching liqueur.
  4. Make the creme patisserie by whisking the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together until creamy and the sugar is dissolved.
  5. In a small saucepan over a medium heat, heat the cream until steaming (do not boil). Pour the hot cream in a thin stream into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Add the ground almonds and mix well.
  6. Spoon the filling into the blind-baked pastry tart case and smooth to an even layer using a spatula. Return the tart to the oven and bake at 110C for 45 mins. The filling should be set but still unctuous.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Arrange the poached pear halves on top of the tart and serve.