Spiced poached Pear and Almond tart

Recipe (from Cookie’s Kitchen)

Adapted from Maggie Beer's Apricot frangipane tart recipe

serves 6-8

Ingredients

Sour cream pastry

200 g Chilled unsalted butter- cut into cubes

250 g Plain flour

1/2 cup Sour cream

Frangipane Filling

120 g Unsalted butter

120 g Caster Sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp Vanilla extract

120 g Almond Meal

30 g Plain flour

Poached Pears

3 Pears

500 ml or 2 cups port wine or any red wine of your choice

1/2 cup water

1 Cinnamon quill

2-3 Star Anise

1 vanilla bean (split lengthways)

1/3 cup sugar

Method

Poached Pears

In a deep pot combine the wine, water, sugar ad spices and let it simmer. Peel and core the pears and place them in the simmering liquid. Let the pears cook for approximately 45-60 minutes or till tender. I usually cover the pot with a round sheet of baking paper with a small hole in the middle, it speeds up the process.

Once the pears have cooked, take them out and let them cool. The wine mixture should have reduced to a sticky syrup like consistency. This syrup is great to pour over the poached fruit tart afterwards.

Sour Cream Pastry

Pulse the butter and flour in a food processor till you get a coarse breadcrumb resembling mixture. Pour the sourcream and pulse till it is combined.

Now take the dough and shape it into a disc and place it between two sheets of baking paper. Roll the pastry to approx 5mm thickness and then transfer it to a flat tray and place it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.

Line a 24 cm loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry and then place the tin for another 10 minutes in the freezer to set.

Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line the pastry tin with baking paper and pie weights and let it blind bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the baking paper and weights and let the pastry cook for another 5-10 minutes till it is golden in colour. Set the tart case aside to cool.

Frangipane Filling

Beat the butter and sugar till it is pale, thick and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and continue to beat the mixture. Add a tsp of vanilla and then fold in the flour and almond meal till it is just combined.

Pour the mixture into the cooled tart tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Now it's time to be a little fancy with the carving of the pears. I have scored the pear diagonally and flattened it so that it fans beautifully.

You can choose to cut halves and place them in the filling. Place the pears on top of the frangipane filling and press them down gently. Brush the pears with the sticky wine syrup to give a final flourish.

Bake the tart for 25 minutes or until it is cooked through and a skewer inserted in it's centre comes out clean.

Serve the tart with a drizzle of the wine syrup and cream on the side. Enjoy!