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PEAR, ROSEMARY AND ALMOND PRALINE TART WITH CHOCOLATE AND AMARULA SAUCE
For the rosemary sweet pastry:
- 150g butter, room temperature
- 80g castor sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 370g flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
For the almond praline pastry cream:
- 90g castor sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 50g blanched almonds
- 4 egg yolks
- 80g castor sugar
- 40g plain flour
- 500ml milk
For the poached pears:
- 4 tbsp castor sugar
- 500ml water
- 3 pears, peeled, halved and cored
For the chocolate Amarula sauce:
- 80g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp Amarula
- icing sugar for dusting (optional)
To prepare the pastry:
1.) Cream the butter and castor sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix to combine.
2.) Sift in the flour and salt and mix to form a dough. Tip the dough onto your work surface and sprinkle with the rosemary. Knead a few times to incorporate the rosemary and to make a smooth dough.
3.) Flatten the dough into a disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the tart. (The dough should be left to chill for at least an hour.)
To make the almond praline pastry cream:
1.) Grease a small baking tray and pallet knife well.
2.) Put 90g castor sugar and the water in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and allow to cook until the syrup is a deep golden colour.
3.) Add the blanched almonds, give the mixture a quick stir and then tip onto the greased baking tray. Use the pallet knife to flatten the mixture.
4.) Allow the mixture to cool before breaking into chunks and chopping by hand. Then use a food processor to grind to a powder. Set aside in an airtight container.
5.) Whisk the egg yolks and 80g castor sugar together until pale and creamy. Sift in the flour and whisk.
6.) Heat the milk in a saucepan just until boiling point. Remove from the heat. Slowly add half of the milk to the egg mixture while whisking continuously.
7.) Add the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Bring to the boil while whisking. Allow to cook for a minute until thickened then remove from heat.
8.) Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with a piece of clingwrap to prevent a skin forming. Set aside to cool.
To prepare the pears:
1.) Place the castor sugar and water in a saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar.
2.) Add the pear halves making sure they are covered in water (add additional water if needed). Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until the pears are tender.
3.) Drain the pears and set aside to cool.
To assemble and bake:
1.) Grease and lightly flour a 36cm x 12cm tart tin. Roll the dough to a 5mm thickness. Carefully lift and lower into the tin and press in. Use the rolling pin rolled over the tin to cut away excess pastry and neaten the edges. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180°C while the dough is resting.
2.) Cover the pastry with a piece of baking paper weighted down with dry beans and blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 6 minutes. The pastry should be just cooked but still pale.
3.) Fold the ground almond praline into the pastry cream. Spread a layer of pastry cream over the base of the tart. Next, place the pear halves rounded side up in the tin (you may only need 5 halves). Dot the remaining pastry cream around the pears.
4.) Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin and serving.
To make the chocolate Amarula sauce (can be made just before serving):
1.) Place the dark chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the milk to boiling point, then pour over the chocolate. Whisk well until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth sauce. Whisk in the Amarula.
Note: the sauce will thicken if stored in the fridge but will soften easily in the microwave.
2.) Dust the cool tart with icing sugar, slice and drizzle with chocolate Amarula sauce to serve.