Sunday, January 30, 2011

Caramelised Pear and Cardamon Tart

Not too sure if you can possibly have a sense from the photo of what this tart tastes like?

Exotic ...... incredible ..... delicious ......sophisticated ..... mmmmmm

Just before Christmas last year, I had a get together with my expatriate friends and we cooked up another storm. I enjoy these sessions because they allow us to forge a friendship and enjoy each others company and try something new - be it directly form each others culture or what ever we fancy.

Rose-Anne brought along this little treat in a really beautiful pie plate holder/carrier ( which I regret not photographing) and we enjoyed this with some coffee and good laughs, just before the arduous task of cooking for fun began.  

It is a play on the classic french dessert tart aux pomme . It does not require a heavy cast iron pan , it was made in a ceramic quiche dish . You could easily substitute any type of pan dish . The combination of pears and cardamom is exotic and intoxicating and by using prepared store bought puff pastry - putting it together is easy. I loved its rustic look but was completely blown away by its silent sophistication. I especially loved the delicious syrup it basted itself in. If you were to take this dessert to any dinner party, believe me when I tell you - you will be elevated to Dessert Goddess status in a heartbeat.

Please make this tomorrow, pears are in season and are often overlooked for desserts. Here, they can outshine all other fruits used in baked desserts.

Long live Regina Pear !!!!

Caramelised Pear and Cardamon Tart
from a collection of recipes from expats

1/4 cup softened but not melted butter
1/4 cup caster sugar - or fine granulated sugar
seeds from 10 cardamon pods or 1/2 teaspoon cardamon powder
8 oz puff pastry
5 ripe pears recommend using Bosc or Bartlett pears ( make sure they are ripe)

Preheat oven to 400F. 

Distribute the butter evenly on the bottom of your tart tin, sprinkle with the sugar and cardamon pods - I would recommend the use of cardamon pods over using ground cardamon powder. Place in the oven so that the sugar caramelises a little ( be careful not to let it burn).

Peel the pears , cut them in half and arrange the pears round side down. Place the softened puff pastry on top then fold down in a rustic manner around the pears.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Cool the tart in the pan for 5 minutes . Place a larger platter on top of the tart pan then carefully invert onto platter.

Serve on its own hot or at room temperature and or with fresh cream . Some good quality vanilla ice cream will also be a good accompaniment.

You could substitute ground cinnamon or vanilla extract for the cardamon.