Pearl & Pecan Tart


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INGREDIENTS: 

For the pastry:

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75g plain white flour=
  • 75g wholemeal spelt flour
  • pinch salt

For the filling:

  • 115g slightly stale brown bread, crusts on unless especially gnarly, homemade or shop-bought
  • 350g golden syrup
  • 1 small pear, skin-on, cored
  • 90ml double cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • 100g pecan halves

METHOD:

1 In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for about 1 minute until just smooth.
2 Add the egg yolk and mix until combined, then add the flours and salt, mixing until the dough just comes together in a ball. If it feels very soft, wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 5 minutes.
3 Use your fingertips to press it straight into a 3–4cm deep, 23cm round tart tin with a removable base, ensuring the thickness is even throughout. Prick all over with a fork and freeze for 1 hour.
4 Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/375F/Gas Mark 5. Take the tart shell out of the freezer and bake for 10 minutes: if it has puffed up slightly, gently push it flat with the back of a spoon then continue baking for a further 12–14 minutes until lightly golden.
5 Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/150C fan/335F/Gas Mark 3.
6 To make the filling, blitz the bread to fine crumbs in a food processor. In a large saucepan, gently heat the golden syrup. Coarsely grate the pear then stir into the syrup along with the breadcrumbs.
7 Remove from the heat and add the cream, egg yolk, lemon juice and salt, stirring well to combine.
8 Place the tart shell on a baking tray and pour in the filling. Arrange the pecans over the top then bake for 50–55 minutes until golden round the edges and set in the middle.
9 Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely at room temperature (it will firm up as it cools).
10 This tart tastes even better 24 hours after baking and it will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

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