Pear and Chocolate Tart with Crème Fraîche
As beautiful as it is delectable, impress your friends and family with this restaurant-quality dessert!
Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service
- Preparation time: 25 mins plus resting time
- Cooking time: 45 mins
- Serves: 6
First, put the butter and sugar into a food processor (or use a food mixer) and beat until creamed. Add the eggs one by one, and then fold in the almonds and flour. Finally, fold in the chopped dark chocolate. This is your almond frangipane mix.
Roll out the sugar pastry; try to make it quite thin (approximately 3mm in thickness). Line a 10 inch fluted, loose bottom flan dish with the pastry. Place in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes to set the pastry and give it time to rest.
Remove the flan dish with the pastry from the freezer. Place the jam onto the bottom of the dish and smooth over to cover the base. Spoon on the frangipane mix and make sure you push it to the sides. Only fill half way up the flan dish.
Slice each pear into eight slices widthways. Arrange the pear slices in a fan pattern on top of the tart with the point (or top) of each slice in the middle.
Bake in the oven at 170°C for 45 minutes.
When cooked, leave to cool.
Once cooled, slice and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche on top.
Pears, in season from September, are close relatives of apples and members of the rose family. Like apples, they come in hundreds of varieties, but in the UK we grow relatively few different types commercially.
We have been growing pears in the UK for a long time - they are referred to in the Domesday Book, where it is said that pear trees were used as boundary markers - but until the 16th century only cooking pears were grown.
Today, Conference pears account for about 90% of all British commercial pear production. They get their name from the British National Pear Conference, where they were first shown in 1885 by Thomas Rivers, who bred them at his family nursery in Sawbridge, Hertfordshire.
Pears are a good source of fibre, especially if you don't peel them. They also provide vitamin C and are low in calories. Unfortunately for our waistlines though, one of the tastiest ways of eating pears seems to be combined with chocolate!
Dr Juliet Gray, Company Nutritionist