Portion/Yield:Makes 4 individual tarts
This recipe is incredibly easy to make but I can see how many people may not be able to make it as I have prepared the pears using a vacuum pack machine. The pears are not cooked but by vacuuming them hard the texture softens almost as if it where poached but the flavour is incredibly intense and fresh. If this is not possible for you then you can simply poach the pears in stock syrup and cook until they are tender to the knife point. Either way it’s delicious and incredibly easy.
I have chosen conference pears as they are firm, packed with flavour, rustic and most importantly they are British. The pastry I have used is my homemade rough puff pastry recipe, good quality shop bought puff pastry is just as good.
Ingredients & Method
For the Pears Under Pressure
- 2 conference pear, firm but ripe
- 100g caster sugar
- Seeds of half vanilla pod
For the tarts
- 240g home made rough puff pastry (good quality shop bought puff pastry is also good)
- 120g pastry cream
- 1 Egg yolk, for the glaze
- 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
First prepare the pears. Peel the pears, remove the seeds and stalk. Cut the pears in ¼’s and cut each ¼ in half.
Place the pears in two vacuum packing bags and add half the sugar to each bag and add the vanilla seeds and seal under hard vacuum.
Refrigerate the pears for a minimum of 2 hours before use, this will soften the pears and give the illusion of poached pears.
To make the tarts, preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface roll the pastry out to ½ cm thick. Cut 16cm x 16cm squares. Place the squares on the lined baking sheet.
Whisk the egg yolk lightly with a fork and brush the whole square with egg and refrigerate for 10 minutes before baking.
Spread 30g pastry cream on each pastry square. Leave a 1cm rim for the borders.
Drain the pears on kitchen paper and arrange 4 slices of pear on each square of pastry. It does not matter if the pears hang over slightly.
Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, cooked all the way through.
Remove the tray from the oven and remove the baking paper, return the tarts to the baking tray, heat the grill, dust the tarts with Demerara sugar and return the tray to the grill until the sugar is melted and the tarts are caramelised. Watch that the pastry does not burn, take them out earlier if needed.
Place the tarts on a cooling rack to cool, serve warm.