This pear and chocolate tart recipe is the perfect way to bring the best out of British pears whilst they are in season. Its a real celebration of British produce - which is perfectly timed as it is British Food Fortnight!
Chocolate, hazelnuts, British pears in season and not a soggy bottom in sight! What more could you want from an autumnal dessert, or indeed, from a specially crafted recipe for British Food Fortnight? Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or cold with cream. A real weekend treat.
For the Poached Pears
- 6 slightly under ripe British dessert pears, peeled
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- 750ml of port OR 750ml of red wine and 200g caster sugar
For the Sweet Chocolate Pastry
- 200g plain flour
- 150g cold butter, cut into cubes
- 50g icing sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 large egg yolk
- ice cold water
For the Chocolate and Hazelnut Filling
- 125g soft butter
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 125g hazelnuts, blitzed until fine
- 150g dark chocolate - at least 70% cocoa, broken into pieces
Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas mark 5 and grease two 20 inch tart cases.
First, get your peeled pears on to poach. Put the pears into a saucepan with the wine or port and spices, and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 15 minutes, or until the pears have softened slightly; remember that they will continue cooking in the oven,so we don't want them to be fully cooked at this stage. Remove them from the poaching liquid and put aside to cool.
Make the pastry by rubbing the cold cubes of butter into the flour until it resembles golden breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and coca powder and mix to combine. Add the egg yolk, and a little water if necessary, until the pastry can be brought together in a dough. Wrap it in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
A quick note on tart cases. I would always choose loose bottomed tart cases where possible; trying to wrestle a tart out of a fixed bottom case without loosing the filling or breaking the pastry is not fun and can end in tears or kitchen tantrums!
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out thinner than a pound coin. Line the tart tins, leaving some overhang to account for shrinkage. Put the cases into the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.
Make the chocolate filling for the tarts by creaming together the butter and sugar until smooth and pale. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then the hazelnuts, before melting the chocolate over a bain marie and adding that to the mixture.
After 20 minutes, remove the pastry cases from the freezer, and line with baking paper and baking beans for support. Blind bake your pastry cases for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and paper, and bake for a further five minutes to firm up the bottom of the case.
Remove the pastry from the oven and fill with the chocolate mixture Slice the cooled pears in half from top to bottom. Thinly slice each pear half almost all the way through so you can fan each half out prettily. Arrange the fanned pears onto the tart in an attractive pattern. Bake for 40 minutes, or until chocolate mixture is just set. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin
We hope this pear and chocolate tart recipe has inspired you to cook some delicious autumnal pear recipes. Pears are a brilliant fruit to have a go at growing yourself, as they grow brilliantly in our British climate. Choose from our brilliant British grown pear trees, which can be delivered straight to your door!