PEAR, BLUE CHEESE AND WAL­NUT TARTE TATIN

Friday - - Food -

Prep time overnight Bak­ing time 30 mins Serves 6-8 FOR THE FILL­ING 6 firm pears 100g caster su­gar 60g but­ter, diced 3 tbsp white grape vine­gar 40g chopped wal­nuts 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest 2 tbsp but­ter, melted 75g blue cheese FOR A ROUGH PUFF PAS­TRY 250g plain flour, sifted 1 tsp salt 250g cold but­ter, cut into small cubes 150ml ice-cold wa­ter Peel, halve and core the pears, and re­frig­er­ate un­cov­ered overnight to dry them out a lit­tle. (Ig­nore any ox­i­da­tion – the caramel will dis­guise any fruit that goes brown.) For the pas­try, sift flour and salt into a large bowl and add but­ter. Us­ing a pal­ette knife or a blunt-nosed knife, rub the but­ter into the flour us­ing a cut­ting mo­tion. Try to coat as much of the but­ter in flour as pos­si­ble, al­though you will still see some chunks. Make a well in the cen­tre of the mix­ture and grad­u­ally add about two-thirds of the wa­ter, mix­ing it in with the knife as you go. Add enough of the re­main­ing wa­ter to the mix­ture to form a dough (the pas­try should come away neatly from the sides of the bowl with­out leav­ing too much ex­cess flour or but­ter). Wrap the pas­try in cling­film and re­frig­er­ate for 30 min­utes. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured sur­face and roll it out in one di­rec­tion to form a rec­tan­gle. The pas­try will be streaked with but­ter. Fold the short ends of the rec­tan­gle so that the edges meet in the mid­dle, then fold one long end over the other – this is called a book fold. Give the pas­try a turn to so that the seam is on the right. Roll it out again, in one di­rec­tion, to form a rec­tan­gle. Re­peat the book-fold process. Make a small in­den­ta­tion at the top of the rec­tan­gle, wrap it in cling­film and re­frig­er­ate for an­other 30 min­utes, while you pre­heat the oven to 200°C. To make the fill­ing, heat the su­gar in a non-stick pan over a gen­tle heat, swirling oc­ca­sion­ally but with­out stir­ring, un­til it turns pale gold. In­crease the heat slightly and add but­ter and vine­gar. Con­tinue to cook un­til the mix­ture dark­ens a lit­tle. Pour the caramel into a 21cm Tatin dish, oven-proof fry­ing pan or cake tin and sprin­kle wal­nuts on top. Pack the pre­pared pear halves, cut-side up, as tightly as pos­si­ble in the dish and sprin­kle with zest. Roll the pas­try out on a lightly floured sur­face to form a rec­tan­gle larger than the dish con­tain­ing the pears. Us­ing a sharp knife, cut a disc out of the pas­try big enough to over­lap the edges of the dish slightly. Care­fully cover the fruit with the pas­try, tuck­ing it in around the edges, and make two small in­ci­sions for any steam to es­cape. Brush lightly with melted but­ter and bake un­til the pas­try is golden brown, about 30 min­utes. Re­move the tart from the oven and leave it to rest for about 10 min­utes be­fore care­fully in­vert­ing it on to a plate. Crum­ble the cheese over the pears and serve with fresh rocket and a home-made vinai­grette.

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