Recipe: Pear and Almond Tart with Cardamom and Chocolate

This cake by Mercy Fenton is different... but delicious!
Recipe: Pear and Almond Tart with Cardamom and Chocolate

Pear and Almond Tart with Cardamom and Chocolate, by Mercy Fenton.

"This is a take on regular pear and almond tart, with the addition of ground cardamom and melted chocolate," says Mercy Fenton.

"It is just that little bit different and especially delicious. Although there is a little effort involved in making your own poached pears, it’s absolutely worth it - you can always do extras just to have with granola or yogurt."

Pear and Almond Tart with Cardamom and Chocolate

Poached Pears

3 to 4 firm pears (peeled and cored)

500 ml water

200 gr sugar

1 vanilla pod (split lengthways and seeds scraped)

Zest if ½ lemon lengths of peel.

Juice of ½ lemon

Method:

  • Put the vanilla, sugars, juice and zest in a pot that will just fit the pears comfortable.
  • Bring to the boil stirring occasionally.
  • Peel the pears and scoop out the core, sit them in a pot so you can cover them in liquid and that they sit standing up.
  • 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 barely tender.
  • Turn off the heat and allow them to cool in the cooking liquor.
  • Once cool lift the pears out of the liquid.
  • Cut the pears into quarters.

Poached Pears.
Poached Pears.

Sweet Pastry

300gr cream flour

150gr unsalted butter

60gr sugar

6 gr salt

2 eggs

Method:

  • Mix flour, sugar and butter to crumb, add in the eggs and salt and mix lightly
  • Turn onto board and work enough to bring together in small round.
  • Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour or so.
  • Grease and lightly flour a 9 in flan ring.
  • Roll out the pastry approx. 1½ in larger than the flan ring.
  • Carefully place the pastry into the flan ring, pressing carefully into the sides and keep a slight overhang to prevent the high sides shrinking.
  • Rest for half an hour before baking blind.
  • Line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans, bake at 175˚ C until golden all over about 20 minutes.
  • While the base is cooking prepare the frangipane.
  • When cooked remove baking parchment and brush the pastry case with raw egg yolk, place in back in the oven for two or three minutes, this will help seal the pastry and keep it crisp.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling.

Frangipane

50gr dark chocolate drops

½ tsp. freshly ground green cardamom (I used about 12 cardamom pods remove the seeds and grind in a coffee grinder)

150gr unsalted butter

150gr sugar

150gr ground almonds

50gr self raising flour ( i normally use plain flour - so this is a bit lighter)

3 medium free range eggs

4 poached pears

15gr flaked almonds

1 tsp. icing sugar

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 175˚C.
  • Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of gently simmering water, without letting the bowl touch the water, until the chocolate is almost completely melted.
  • Carefully remove from the pan and leave to stand to finish melting, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  • Put the butter, ground almonds, sugar, flour and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth and fluffy.
  • Spoon all the almond mixture into the tart, working it around the outside before working towards the middle of the pastry case.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the melted chocolate on top and draw the tip of a knife through the mixture to lightly mix.
  • Arrange the pears around the tart, cut-side down, with the pointy ends towards the middle, pressing gently into the almond batter. Bake on the baking tray in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes gently pull out the tart and scatter with flaked almonds.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 160˚ C
  • Return the tart to the oven for a further 15 to 20 minutes, or until nicely risen. The filling should also feel firm to the touch.
  • If the tart is beginning to over-brown towards the end of the cooking time, loosely cover with a piece of foil.
  • Cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes and then carefully transfer to a board or serving platter.
  • Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar and serve warm or cold in wedges.

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