Recipe for Pear and Dark Chocolate Tart with homemade shortcrust pastry
For the Pastry:
1½ cups all-purpose or cake flour
½ cup icing sugar
a pinch of salt
125 g cold butter
1 tsp vanilla extract / paste / essence
*Or use any well-behaved sweet shortcrust pasty recipe of your choice.
For the Filling:
4 medium-sized ripe pears, peeled
250g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 egg yolk
To make the pastry, sieve the flour, icing sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl (I usually sieve straight into the bowl of my electric). On a low speed, or by hand, work the butter into the flour mixture, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg, vanilla and milk, and mix gently. Try to avoid over-working the dough. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 15
minutes. Lightly grease your tart tin/s and set aside.
In a microwave-proof dish, microwave the pears for 5 minutes, until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Allow to cool slightly and then cut each pear into thin slices.
While the pears cook, preheat oven to 120C and prepare the chocolate filling: place the chocolate in a mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water and melt, stirring occasionally. Then add the cream, milk and salt and stir to combine and set aside. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the mixture.
Remove your pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about ½ cm thick and use to line the tin/s or dish. Use a fork to prick the surface a few times and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes (to avoid blind-baking).
Remove your pastry-lined tart dish from the freezer, and lay the pear slices inside the pastry base/s, before pouring over the chocolate mixture.
Bake at 120C for approximately 45 minutes, remove from the oven and cool.
*You can double the pastry and freeze half for up to 2 months to use when you need it. For easy filling and baking, freeze the dough already in a pie dish if you have one spare.
* A great one to make the day before, just leave to rest at room temperature.
Recipe provided by Sarah Graham, author of Bitten, Smitten and A Foodie Lives Here food blog.