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The Caker's brown butter pear tart with toasted pine nuts recipe

Aug 04, 2023Aug 04, 2023

As the weather gets colder and colder I find myself reaching for comforting desserts, and this is one of them. It’s not exactly a simple recipe, but if you set aside enough time I think you’ll be really pleased with the results. You could swap the pears out for stone fruits in the summer months too!

Serves: 10-12

Prep time: 2 hours

Bake time: 50 minutes

Ready in: 4 hours

For the brown butter

200g butter, cubed

For the pastry

100g plain white all-purpose flour

50g buckwheat flour

60g icing sugar

20g ground almonds

Pinch of salt

75g very cold butter, cut into chunks

1 free-range egg

For the frangipane

120g brown butter (reserve 30g for roasted pears)

100g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla paste

100g ground almonds

2 tbsp plain white all-purpose flour

Generous pinch sea salt

For the pears

2 brown skin pears

30g brown butter, from above

2 tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla paste or seeds from ½ vanilla bean

For topping

30g pine nuts

A generous pinch of sea salt

An ice cream scoop of mascarpone

1. Make the brown butter. Place a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the butter cubes and melt while whisking frequently. Once melted, the butter will go a bit foamy. Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and a nutty aroma is released. Once a lovely golden colour is reached, pour the brown butter into a bowl and set aside. You should have roughly 150-160g of brown butter at this point (browning butter reduces the quantity).

2. Grease a 20cm tart tin very well. You can line the base with baking paper on the bottom too if you want.

3. Make the pastry. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flours, icing sugar, almond and salt along with the cold butter cubes and mix until it reaches a sand-like consistency. Be careful not to over mix. Add in the egg and mix until the dough comes together.

4. Tip the dough out onto a sheet of baking paper and gently knead until smooth.Place another sheet of baking paper onto top and using a rolling pin, roll out to about 2mm thickness.

5. Place the dough between the baking paper pieces in the freezer for 15 minutes.

6. Take the dough out of the freezer and press it into the tart tin. Make sure it’s even and as thin as possible. Trim off excess dough hanging over the edges with a sharp knife. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.

7. Meanwhile, make the pears. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees celsius and have a baking tray out.

8. Cut the pears from stem to base, into 6 equal slices. Toss with 30g / 2 tablespoons of the brown butter, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and the vanilla paste / seeds. Roast for 15-20 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Set aside to cool.

9. To blind bake the pastry, reduce the oven temp to 160 degrees celsius fan bake. Gently place a piece of baking paper over the pastry and pour baking beads or rice into it. Bake for about 20 minutes.

10. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool, leaving it in its tin.

11. Make the frangipane. Place the brown butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.Next add the ground almonds, flour and salt and mix until just combined. Finally, fold through the zest.

12. Spread the frangipane mixture onto the base of the pastry, still in its tin. Press 8-12 of the pear slices (depending on how big your pears are) deep into the frangipane.

13. Bake for around 30 minutes or until golden and a knife inserted comes out clean.

14. Allow the tart to cool in its tin for 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.

15. Set aside to cool while you lightly toast the pine nuts in a pan with the sea salt. Scatter the mixture over top and finish with an ice cream scoop of mascarpone in the centre.

16. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Sunday Magazine

For the brown butterFor the frangipane For the pearsFor topping