Serves: 8
Difficulty: Medium

Louise Pickford, of Come Cook in France, shares her recipe for this stunning (and delicious!) pear and hazelnut tart.

If, like me, you sometimes stand outside a pâtisserie just admiring the array of amazing pastries, then this recipe is for you. As we are still in the depths of winter, I thought we should enjoy two of the best of the season’s ingredients (hopefully picked from your own garden!). A crisp, sweet tart case filled with a rich hazelnut cream adorned with sliced pears is the perfect antidote to a cold winter’s day, eaten for pud or with a cup of tea. It makes winter worthwhile.


Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g butter, diced
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsps iced water

For the filling

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 3-4 pears, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced
  • Crème fraîche and a little ground cinnamon, to serve

Directions

For the pastry

1Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C fan. Place flour and salt in a food processor, add the butter and pulse briefly until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Add the egg yolks and enough water and process until the dough just starts to come together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently into a round. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.

2Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to form a circle large enough to line a 25 cm fluted tart tin. Press the pastry into the sides and base of the tin and trim off the overhang. Prick the base with a fork and chill for a further 20 minutes. Line the pastry case with baking paper and baking beans and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 6-8 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Leave to cool completely.

For the filling

1Reduce the oven temperature to 190C / 170C fan. Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth, add the eggs, vanilla and hazelnuts and blend until evenly combined. Spoon the cream into the pastry shell and press the pear slices well down into the cream. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 40 minutes until firm and golden (cover with tin foil if the pastry starts to get too dark).

2Remove from the oven and allow the tart to cool for 30 minutes or so and serve at room temperature with a little crème fraîche dusted with cinnamon.


About the author

Louise Pickford is a cookery writer and food stylist who runs the Come Cook in France cookery school from her home in Montmoreau, in Charente. To find out more, visit www.comecookinfrance.com.

2 COMMENTS

    • Hi Arlene,
      We really would recommend measuring your ingredients in grams, if they are supplied that way, as it ensures a greater degree of accuracy. Volume measures leave a rather large margin of error, and with precision work like this it could be the difference between victory and disaster! You can purchase a scale very inexpensively online. We promise, it will change your culinary life for the better! 🙂

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