This one turned out a bit of a treat. Theres a great bakery in Sydney that makes a small, individual version of this tart, and it became a favourite very quickly when I worked in the city – since I left that job I haven’t had one, so when I saw that the last of some pears I’d bought were ‘on the turn’, a little excited lightbulb went off in my head. The chocolate and almond filling to this tart is sublime! The pear cuts through the sweetness perfectly – the pastry slightly sweet and crumbly. The whole thing is just heavenly. And coming from a man who doesn’t eat many cakes, or much chocolate – it turns out to be one of my favorite things to eat – ever.
250g plain flour
125g unsalted butter (cold, and cubed)
100g icing sugar
125g almond meal
95g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter (melted)
1 teaspoon orange zest
90g good quality dark chocolate (melted)
2 pears (peeled and quartered)
In a food processor, combine the flour and icing sugar and pulse to aerate. Add the butter and process till you form a consistency of breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg with 3 tablespoons water and gradually pour into the flour with the motor running till it comes together in a clump.
Tip onto a floured surface and knead with your hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll into a large ball, cover in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.
Halve the dough and roll out into a 3mm thick circle and then coat a lightly greased 20cm (loose bottom) tart tin. leave the edges overhanging slightly.
Freeze the remaining dough for another use.
Preheat oven to 190ºC – blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes, remove and set aside.
Turn down the oven to 170ºC
To make the filling:
In a food processor, combine the butter, almond meal, eggs and sugar and orange zest into a thick paste. Gradually pour in the melted chocolate and mix well.
Spoon the filling into the tart case and then press in the pear pieces in a circle. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Dust with a little soft icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream. This is also absolutely perfect with a hot cup of coffee and an episode of ‘I Survived’ as I enjoyed this afternoon.