Chocolate & Pear Tart

Pear and chocolate is a winning combination and this tart is the perfect winter dessert enhanced further by the ground almonds that delicately flavour the pastry.

Great served with double or clotted cream or creme fraiche.

Serves 8-10

Cooking Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

For pastry:
165g plain flour
30g caster sugar
30g ground almonds
1/2 tsp salt
125g very cold butter, cut into small pieces
3-4 tbsp iced water

For the filling:
4-5 pears, halved and cored (or a tin of pears in syrup, well drained)
180g sugar
90g butter
45g cocoa powder
1 egg
45g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

Icing sugar and handful of chopped almonds, to serve

Method

1. To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and then add the salt, sugar and ground almond. Roughly mix.

2. Add the butter and mix with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir quickly without overworking the mixture, adding just enough water so that the pastry starts coming together. Form a ball, cover and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3. Once chilled, roll the pastry on a lightly floured worktop and line a flan dish with it. The dough will be quite crumbly so you can finish spreading it with your hands directly in the dish. Prick with a form and put back in the fridge for 10 minutes.

4. While chilling, preheat the oven to 180C.

5. Top the pastry with baking paper and baking beads and blind bake the tart for 10-15 minutes.

6. While the flan is blind baking, prepare the filling. Melt the butter with the cocoa over a medium heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat, add the egg, sugar, flour and vanilla extract and mix until everything is combined.

7. Remove the tart from the oven and pour the chocolate mixture over the the pastry and cover with the pear halves.

8. Put the tart back in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the filling is firm. Leave to cool before removing from the flan tin.

9. To serve, sprinkle with a handful of chopped almonds and enjoy.