Pinot Noir Chardonnay Poached Pear Tartlets
These are not the quickest desserts you will ever make but I promise you that they are well worth the trouble. If you like to speed things along (I sure do!) Grab some pre-rolled sweet shortcrust pastry and you’ll have these impressive and moreish tarts made in a very respectable time indeed.
By Kirsten McKechnie
INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6x 6cm tartlets)
3 pears (or 6 if you would like them all to be presented with a stem)
Half a lemon
1 bottle of Yellowglen Pinot Noir Chardonnay
1 cup of caster sugar
1 1/2 cups of water
1 vanilla bean
Sweet Shortcrust pastry (this store bought one is excellent if you don’t care to make it yourself)
2/3 cup of almond meal
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup of sugar
125g butter (at room temperature)
1. Peel the pears, rubbing the lemon over them as you go to stop them from browning too quickly.
2. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the wine, sugar, water and vanilla. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Place the pears into the poaching liquid and bring back to a simmer before reducing the heat and cooking, covered for another 20 minutes until a knife slides easily into the flesh of the pears.
4. Remove the pears onto a tray to cool and turn the heat up to high underneath the poaching liquid. Cook for about ten more minutes until there is about a cup of liquid remaining. This will be the glaze you brush on at the end.
5. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
6. Roll out your pastry and cut rounds a little larger than your tart pans. Press the pastry into the pans as neatly as possible.
7. Line the tarts with baking paper and then fill with baking weights (I find rice works well for this!) Bake for 8 minutes until the pastry is beginning to turn golden around the edges. Remove the weights and baking paper.
8. In a small bowl, beat one of the eggs.
9. Brush the insides of the tarts with the egg and bake for a further 4 minutes in the oven. Set aside to cool.
10. Prepare the pears by slicing them in half, taking care not to cut away the stem. Cut away the core and any stringy or fibrous bits inside.
11. Cream the butter and sugar before stirring in the flour, almond meal and the egg.
12. Divide the almond mixture between the tarts and press down firmly.
13. Bake for 15 minutes before placing the pear on top and baking for a further 5 minutes until golden.
14. Brush the Pinot Noir Chardonnay glaze over the tarts while they are still warm.