Autumn means pears, and I love pears.
Juicy, sweet and versatile, pears are such a wonderful fruit to have around the house.
Recently I was given a box of luscious Red Sensation and Packham pears as part of a pear promotion: Rediscover the Pear. They were just wonderful.
I was thinking about the great chocolate and almond tarts my colleagues and I buy from Central Baking Depot and I decided the sturdy Packham pears would be perfect to help me recreate the tarts at home.
I used Carême Pastry frozen dark chocolate shortcrust for this Jamie Oliver recipe, which turned out to be mighty fine and certainly on par with the tarts I was dreaming about.
Pear, Almond & Chocolate Tart
Recipe by Jamie Oliver. Serves 6.
Ready-made shortcrust pastry (I used 300g)
125g almond meal (ground almonds)
2 large free-range or organic eggs
125g butter, softened
95g caster sugar
185g dark chocolate, melted
3 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
2. Roll out the pastry until ½cm thick and use it to line a 24cm tart tin.
3. Leave in the freezer to rest for at least 20 minutes, or longer if you can.
4. Bake the pastry blind for around 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove, set aside, and reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F/gas 3.
5. Mix your almonds, eggs, butter and sugar together and stir in the melted chocolate while it’s still warm.
6. Pour the mixture evenly into the pastry case and then press the pears into the chocolate and almond mixture.
7. Bake the tart for 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the chocolate and almond mixture is firm.
I served my tart with the most exquisite accompaniment of all time, David Lebovitz’s Pear Caramel Ice Cream form The Perfect Scoop.