Chocolate pear tart recipe
“Originating from France, where they really know how to make some of the best pastries, tarts and desserts”
- Yield: serves 6-8
This chocolate pear tart has it's origins in France, where they really know how to make some of the best pastries, tarts and desserts. It combines ripe pears with rich dark chocolate and a smooth vanilla custard in a pastry base.
The real secret with this tart however is when you bite into it. The pear juices have combined with the chocolate base to create a truly scrumptious soft layer under the pears, just begging you to sink your teeth into it, again and again...
While it's a bit fiddly to make it's certainly worth the effort, and your dinner guests will be asking for second servings, without suspecting that it's wheat or gluten free. Try serving with a little whipped cream for extra decadence, vanilla ice cream, or of course simply by itself.
Preheat oven: 200°C, 400°F, gas 6
reduced temperature after 10 mins: 180°C, 350°F, gas 4
- Lightly butter and dust with white rice flour a 25cm (10") fluted tart tin with a removable base. Place a large baking tray in the oven while it is heating to preheat the tray. The tray needs to be large enough to stand the tart tin on it.
Standing the tart tin on this preheated tray while cooking is vital, to ensure that the chocolate at the bottom of the tart reaches the right temperature to melt, without burning.
- Into a large mixing bowl put the white rice and gluten free flours, softened butter and sugar. Mix together until it resembles large breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, and knead into a smooth ball of pastry dough. If the pastry appears too dry and crumbly then sprinkle with a little more water until it makes a smooth ball. Wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- After the pastry has chilled, roll it out onto a lightly rice floured surface to a size large enough to completely line the tart tin including the sides. You may find it too delicate to lift in one piece and have to patch it together in the tart tin. Gently push the pastry into the flutes, and trim the top edge to neaten the pastry. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
- While the pastry is chilling make the custard filling. In a large bowl whisk the cream, whole egg, egg yolk and vanilla pod seeds until is it thoroughly mixed together. Set aside.
- Next peel the pears and halve them. Scoop out the cores trying to not break the pear half or lose too much of the pear flesh. If the pear is ripe enough a teaspoon or melon baller are ideal for this task.
- Put the pears cut side down on a chopping board and slice them into thin vertical strips horizontally across the pear.
- Remove the pastry case from the fridge and spread the chopped chocolate in the base. Slightly flatten the sliced pears then lift them in complete halves (using a wide bladed knife), and lay them on top of the chocolate. You can of course be more adventurous with the pears layout, but remember that it must end up as a thick layer with room for the custard filling to also pool and set.
- Spoon the custard over the pears and any visible chocolate, making sure that everything gets a good coating. Sprinkle just the pears with the caster sugar.
- Stand the tart tin on the preheated baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes lower the heat to 180°C, 350°F, gas 4 and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is browned and the custard has set.
- During the cooking time the pears should caramelise on top due to the sugar coating, however if they do not then simply place the tart under a preheated grill for a few minutes until they are golden brown.
- Leave the tart to cool for at least 60 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve warm or at room temperature, not chilled.