Photography by Ian Wallace
Ingredients (serves 8)
- 4 Buerre bosc pears, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges each
- 2 cups (500ml) dry red wine
- 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
- 1 tsp aniseed seeds
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 150g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 300ml thickened cream
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- 1/4 cup (60ml) dark rum
- 1 cup (150g) plain flour
- 1/3 cup (40g) almond meal
- 1/3 cup (60g) icing sugar mixture
- 1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder
- 150g chilled butter, chopped
- 2 egg yolks
Combine the pears, wine, sugar, aniseed and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, turning pears occasionally, for 45 minutes or until pears are tender and sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge for 6 hours to develop the flavours.
To make the chocolate pastry, place the flour, almond meal, icing sugar, cocoa and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles dry breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and process until mixture just comes together. Turn onto a work surface and shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Roll pastry out on a lightly fl oured surface to a 30cm disc. Line a 23cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin with removable base with pastry and trim the edges. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest. Line with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or dried beans. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and pastry weights and bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until pastry is cooked through. Remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 150°C.
Meanwhile, combine the chocolate and cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add the eggs and rum and gently whisk until well combined. Pour into the pastry case. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until just set. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Place the tart on a serving platter. Strain the pears from the syrup and arrange on the tart. Cut into wedges and serve with syrup.
You will need to start this recipe the day before.
Cheat's tip: A good-quality merlot or cabernet sauvignon works best in this recipe. Alternatively, use a rose, but reduce the sugar content to maintain a balance of flavours and prevent the pears from becoming overly sweet.
Notebook: - July 2008, Page 103
Recipe by Sarah Hobbs