Pear, cardamom and chocolate rustic tart

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

I was listening to a podcast the other day that started by saying that every plate of food has a story. If you asked me, what is the story of my rustic tart? I would say I finished a stretch of bakery shifts, I came home, I made the pastry dough. I woke up, I cut the pears in the thinnest segments and then I tossed them in fruity cardamom specks before strategically placing each on the rolled pastry and folding up the sides. It obviously needed a bit of chocolate, because who would dream of a chocolate-less pear dessert. I never know (and probably can’t remember) the stories behind the things I’m baking but I fucking love the process of it. It is the process that is the story behind this pear tart. And any human that can come home after spending all day baking and still have the urge to try and bake something good is probably a bit weird and will need to have the sweet tooth of a toddler, but at least it is fulfilling.

Pear, cardamom and chocolate rustic tart

For the filling

2/3 ripe pears – used two and half
1/2  tsp cardamom
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
25g butter, in tiny cubes
50g dark chocolate

For the pastry

140g plain flour
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 egg yolk, cold plus another for egg washing2 tbsp milk, cold


  1. To make the pastry stir together flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a freestanding mixer. Add the butter and mix until you have pea sized pieces of butter. Mix the egg yolk and milk together, then add to the butter and flour and mix very briefly, just until it comes together. Put the dough on a clean surface and use the palms of your hands to smear it against the surface. Do this four/five times then gather the dough into a round disc, wrap in cling-film and chill for one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190C/170 fan and line a large tray with baking paper. To make the filling, quarter the pears and slice out the cores. Slice the quarters thinly, you should get about 5 segments from each quarter of pear. Put the slices in a large bowl along with the ground cardamom, sugar, flour and lemon juice and carefully toss together to coat the pears.  
  3. Roll the dough out to a circle, about the thickness of a £1 coin and around 20 cm wide. Place the pears in three overlapping rows in the middle of the pastry, making sure to leave an inch or two of space around the edges. Fold the pastry edges over the pears to close the tart and then brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash. Transfer the tart to the lined tray and freeze for 15 minutes. When ready to bake, dot the pears with the tiny cubes of butter and then bake in the oven for 45 minutes. If the bottom of the tart is still pale, cover with foil and bake for another ten minutes.  
  4. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Once melted, spoon the chocolate into a piping bag. Cut a small hole in the end and while the tart is still warm, drizzle the whole thing with the melted chocolate.


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