After the weekend’s festivities, I had a handful of pears leftover from my pear, cream cheese and cranberry appetisers (which were dead easy by the way if you’re looking for simple party food). We’re not a big pear consuming household – lots of apples, bananas, nectarines, peaches and plums when in season, and grapes, so many grapes! But pears aren’t my favourite fruit to munch on just by themselves, I think I had an unfortunate rotten pear incident as a child. So rather than letting these pears lament in the fruit bowl, I thought I’d best put my thinking cap on to make something yummy from them…
Pear and Walnut Custard Tart
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
175g butter, chilled, chopped
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons chilled water
1-2 pears, sliced
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 cups (or enough to fill tart tray) custard
Golden syrup and double cream, to serve
Process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs. Gradually add in the chilled yolks and water, pulse until a dough is formed. Work into a ball with your hands, then roll out with rolling pin and line a tart tray with the pastry. Blind bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes or until just hardened slightly (I use baking beads but you can use uncooked rice or beans for blind baking.) Let the tart crust cool.
For the filling I made some custard using this general method (I like it quite vanilla heavy), you can make it from powder though or – shock horror – use store-bought. Pour the custard into your tart crust, sprinkle in half of the walnuts, then lay your pear slices into the custard any which way. In a perfect world they would fit just so, but mine I just slapped in there however I liked. Top with the remaining walnuts. Bake at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the custard is set and the pears softened. Drizzle golden syrup over the tart and serve with a big dollop of double cream.
Pear glut be gone! And dessert is served for tonight. I don’t make a dessert very often just for us, so I think I’ll have a happy husband tonight, especially as there’s custard involved. Now if I could just convince him that I would make him endless supplies of custard if I had a Thermomix sitting on my kitchen bench…