Pear Tart Bourdaloue

Pears cooked in a sweet spicy syrup and arranged on a creamy custard base, Pear Tart Bourdaloue makes a decorative dessert to serve at a dinner party. Pears discolour very quickly once they are peeled, so if this worries you, add a few drops of red colouring to the syrup or, if you prefer, poach the pears in red wine and use a red jam glaze.

ONE

9-INCH TART

1 X 9-inch Flan Case, made with rich shortcrust pastry, baked blind and cooled

6 oz. sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cinnamon stick

16 fl. oz. water

4 large pears, peeled, halved and cored

4 fl. oz. Apricot

Glaze, warm

12 fl. oz. Creme Patissi&re

2 oz. slivered almonds, toasted

Pear Tart Bourdaloue and Pear Salad are two tasty pear dishes.

Place the flan case on a serving platter and set aside.

Place the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick and water in a large saucepan. Set the pan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to high and bring the syrup to the boil.

Remove the cinnamon stick. Add the pear halves to the syrup, reduce the heat to low and simmer the pears for 12 minutes or until they are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the pan. When the pears are cool, with a slotted spoon, lift them out of the syrup and place them on a rack to drain. Discard the syrup.

Using a pastry brush, brush the inside of the flan case with a little apricot glaze.

Spoon the creme patissiere into the flan case, smoothing it over with a flat-bladed knife. Set aside.

Transfer the pears to a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, slice the pear halves, lengthways, into thin slices.

Arrange the slices decoratively on top of the creme patissiere, narrow ends toward the centre, in a circle. Spread the slices out so that they overlap one another slightly.

Sprinkle the almonds over the pears. Using a spoon, lightly glaze the top of the tart with the remaining apricot glaze.

Serve immediately.

You’ll find it difficult to limit yourself to just one of these rich, coffee-flavoured Pecan Bars with your afternoon tea or coffee!

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