Autumn pears are sweet, juicy and delicious when combined with caramel flavours in this week’s recipe. Melanie Johnson shares her recipe for a pear, salted almond and dulce-de-leche tart, served with with dulce-de-leche ice cream.
For the pastry
- 125g softened unsalted butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 250g plain flour
For the filling
- 100g ground almonds
- 1 egg
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- 100g dulce de leche
For the accompaniments
- 3 ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored (plus more to serve)
- 75g chopped salted almonds
- 200g dulce de leche
- 500ml vanilla ice cream
- 30g icing sugar
Using a food processor, mix together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks and combine again, followed by the flour and a pinch of salt. Process until just combined, then tip the pastry out onto a piece of clingfilm and wrap it up. Massage the dough to bring it together, shape it into a flat disc and refrigerate until firm.
To prepare the filling, process together the ground almonds, egg, golden caster sugar, butter and dulce de leche until the mixture is uniform in colour. Set aside until ready to use.
Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and use it to line a 22cm (8in–9in) loose-bottomed tart tin. Return the lined tin to the refrigerator and chill well.
Preheat your oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas mark 6. Fill the chilled pastry with scrunched-up baking parchment and baking beans, then blind bake for 15–20 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and bake for a further five minutes – you may need to put foil over the sides, to prevent over-browning. Reduce the oven temperature to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4.
Spoon the filling into the tart case and smooth it out evenly. Slice the pears lengthways, but not all the way, so the halves can be fanned out. Arrange them evenly around the tart, with the smaller end of each pear half at the centre.
Sprinkle the salted almonds around the edge of the tart and bake for 30–35 minutes.
Stir the dulce de leche through the vanilla ice cream and refreeze it. Take the tart out of the oven, allowing it to cool briefly, then remove it from the tin and the base while still hot.
Place on a serving plate, dust lightly with icing sugar and serve with the dulce-de-leche ice cream and fresh pear quarters.
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