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Poached Pear Tart

This amazing dessert looks as good as it tastes!  Poached pears add flavour and a little bite, while the pastry adds luxury and indulgence.

POACHED PEAR TART

INGREDIENTS

4 small beurre bosc pears or 12 miniature paradise pears

½ lemon

2 cups (500ml) each red and white wine

2 cinnamon quills

1 ¼ (275g) caster sugar

1 vanilla bean, split in half, seeds scrapped

45 g unsalted butter

½ cup (60 g) almond meal

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

375 g block frozen puff pastry

Icing sugar to dust


METHOD

1.       Peel your pears and cut in half and core if you are using beurre bosc pear.  If using small paradise pears keep whole.

2.      Place the red and white wine in two separate saucepans, each with one cinnamon quill, ½ cup(110g) caster sugar, half the lemon rind and half the vanilla pod seeds.  Stir each pot over a low heat until all your sugar has dissolved. Then add half the pears to each pot.  Poach over a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes or until the pears are tender.  Leave in the poaching liquid to cool.

3.      Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.  In a food processor, whiz together your butter, remaining ¼ cup of caster sugar, almond meal, vanilla and egg yolks until well combined.  Set aside.

4.      Roll out your pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 12cm x 48cm rectangle.  Place on a large baking tray lined with baking paper.  Prick a boarder around the edge of your pastry to guide where to spread your frangipane.  Pat your pears dry with paper towel and gently lay them on top of the frangipane, cut side down for larger pears, alternating between red and white.

5.      Cut a strip of baking paper to fit over your pears to prevent them drying out while cooking.  Bake tart for 20-25 minutes until your pastry is golden.

6.      Brush pears with a little reserved poaching liquid and dust with icing sugar.  Serve with cream, mascarpone or custard.