Pear & Almond Tartin
For the Pastry:
200 g/7 oz plain flour
100 g/4 oz butter, cubed
1 egg yolk, size 3 (UK) / Medium
50 g/2 oz caster sugar
2-3 tbsp cold water
For the Topping:
50 g/2 oz butter
1.5 kg/3 lb firm pears, peeled, halved and cored
2 tbsp brandy (optional) [I used Calvados - apple brandy]
2 tbsp dark sugar
2 tbsp clear honey
100 g/4 oz marzipan, cubed
50 g/2 oz flaked almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the flour, butter, egg yolk and caster sugar in
a bowl and, using your fingertips, mix the fat and egg into the flour until the mixture
has the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in about 2-3 tablespoons of water - enough to
form a smooth, firm dough. Knead briefly, then shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic film and
place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
Heat butter in a 9-10 inch ovenproof frying pan and arrange the pears flat side down in a
circle around the pan. Cook gently for 4-5 minutes, until they begin to soften, then turn
and cook the other side for the same length of time. Pour in brandy, if using, and cook
until liquid has reduced (i.e. until the steam dies down). Add honey and sugar to the pan
and cook for 4-5 minutes until the pears are caramelized and a syrupy sauce has formed.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a round about 2 inches wider than the pan.
Place a cube of marzipan between each pear. Support the dough with a rolling pin and place
it over the pears, tucking the edges of the pastry down the sides of the pan. Place the
pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Cool the tarte in the pan for 5 minutes, then place a large serving plate over the pan and
invert the tarte onto it. Scatter with the toasted almonds and allow to cool.
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