Each year I eagerly anticipate the arrival of Gourmet Traveller‘s annual French issue, and when my subscription arrived in the mail I couldn’t wait to devour it. I’ve long dreamed of visiting France but haven’t had the opportunity of going there so far (perhaps we can go for our honeymoon), so flicking through the pages gives me my fix for all things French.
This years issue featured gorgeous Chocolate Tarts and Muscat poached pears on the cover. I was so inspired by the chocolate tart and pear combination I ran straight to the kitchen to begin cooking my own version.
Instead of poaching the pears I decided to try slow roasting the pears with a little butter, vanilla bean and sugar. The slow roasted pears were delicious and when paired with the chocolate tart it was a magical combination.
For the chocolate ganache I used Pedro Ximénez in place of the muscat in the original recipe. Pedro Ximénez is a delicious sherry, and worked well with both the chocolate and pears.
The end result was a delicious pear and chocolate tart that looked and tasted truly decadent.
What country do you dream of visiting?
By the way, I’ve submitted a couple of my recipes for the Lurpak Challenge. To vote for my Chocolate Quinoa Pear & Plum Crumble click here and for my Cauliflower Sformato click here. Voting ends on the 10th of July 2011 at 11:59PM AEST and you can vote once per day until the deadline.
Vanilla Bean Slow Roasted Pears
- 4 pears, peeled, cored and cut in half
- 10g (2 tbs) of butter, chopped into small pieces
- 50g of sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius (250 Fahrenheit) and line a roasting pan with baking paper.
- Add the pears, sugar and vanilla (seeds and pod) to a bowl and mix to combine. Place the pears (cut side up) into the roasting pan.
- Top the pears with the pieces of butter and roast in the oven for 2 hours or until the pears are tender, checking every half hour or so to turn the pears and baste in the juices.
Pedro Ximénez Chocolate Ganache Tart
Recipe adapted from July 2011 Gourmet Traveler
- 200g of plain flour
- 60g of pure icing sugar
- 120g of cold butter, coarsely chopped
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tbs of iced water
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 beaten egg
- In a food processor combine the flour, icing sugar and salt and process to combine.
- Add the butter and iced water and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs before adding the the yolk. Process to combine.
- Turn out the pastry onto a cling film and form into a disc using the back of your hand. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Prepare 1 large fluted tart tin or 2 medium or 8 mini fluted tart tins.
- Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of lightly floured baking paper to a thickness of 2mm and line the tart tins with the pastry and trim the edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 Fahrenheit).
- Line the tarts with baking paper and add pastry weights and blind bake the tarts until golden – about 15 minutes. Remove the baking paper and pastry weights and brush the inside of the tart with the beaten egg and bake again until crisp – about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Once cool, thinly slice 3 pear halves and line the tart bases.
Pedro Ximénez Chocolate Ganache
- 330ml of pouring cream
- 30ml of Pedro Ximénez sherry
- 250g of 70% Lindt chocolate, finely chopped
- Place the cream and Pedro Ximénez in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
- Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Let it stand for 10 minutes before pouring into the tart shells over the pear slices.
- Refrigerate until set.
- Serve with the remaining pears and whipped cream.