Recipe: Chocolate Custard, Pecan and Pear Tart

This is a very simple pear tart, which is easy to make but is very impressive to taste. I think it would suit as a grown up dinner dessert — but there is nothing to stop you having it with a cuppa.
Recipe: Chocolate Custard, Pecan and Pear Tart

Chocolate Custard, Pecan and Pear Tart by Mercy Fenton

Chocolate Custard, Pecan and Pear Tart

Start by preparing the pastry, and poaching the pears.

Chocolate Pastry

Ingredients

170g cream flour

30g cocoa powder

100gr chilled butter cut into small dice

30gr icing sugar

1 egg yolk for pastry

1 egg yolk, beaten for glaze.

Method:

  • Butter the base and sides of a 9in flan ring, then place a disk of parchment paper on the base.
  • The chocolate pastry is simple to make. Put everything except the egg yolk in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to fine crumb.
  • Next add the egg yolk and pulse again.
  • Once it starts to come together, take it from the processor and bring it together by hand.
  • Form a flat, smooth, round shape and wrap in cling film, chill for 30 minutes then remove from the fridge and using a little flour roll out thinly.
  • Method
  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C.
  • Place carefully onto the base, pressing the pastry into the sides and allowing any extra pastry to hang over the sides, then trim the excess close to the edge of the tin.
  • Line the tart with a large disk of parchment paper and fill with baking beans, place in the centre of the oven and bake the tart base blind for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and beans and cook for a further 10 to 12 minutes until firm and cooked.
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and brush quickly with the beaten yolk, return to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes to cook the yolk and form a seal to keep the pastry crisp.

Poached Pears

Ingredients

5 or 6 pears

1 cup caster sugar

1 star anise

2 cups water or enough to just cover the pears.

Juice of 1 lemon (keep the zest for the cake)

Method:

  • Put the sugar, star anise and juice in a pot that will just fit the pears comfortably.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Peel the pears quarter and scoop out the core, lay them in a pot so they are covered in liquid.
  • Cover with a disk of parchment paper and a lid.
  • Bring back to the boil slowly, reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes until the pears are tender.
  • Turn off the heat and allow them to cool in the cooking liquor.

Filling

Ingredients

70g caster sugar

70g toasted walnuts

180gr 53% chocolate drops

250ml cream

3 free range eggs

12 to 15 quarters of cooled, drained tender poached pears

Method:

  • Once pastry is baked, turn oven down to 160C.
  • To make the filling — place caster sugar in a small frying pan or pot and place on a medium heat to melt.
  • Once it has turned to caramel, add nuts, coat them by tilting the pan then pour on to a sheet of baking paper to cool.
  • When cold, chop roughly with a knife or blitz a couple of times in food processor until chunky.
  • Put the chocolate drops in a bowl. Heat cream until scalding then pour over chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and very smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time to chocolate, mixing well after each addition.
  • Arrange pears over the base of the tart shell.
  • Sprinkle over half the caramelized pecans.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the pears, filling the pastry to the top.
  • Carefully return to oven for 25 minutes until just set. Cool before serving.
  • Garnish with the remaining caramelized pecans and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

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