EDP Norfolk - - Food & Drink -

Ben likes to put a lit­tle twist on dishes at The Duck. With this clas­sic French pâtis­serie recipe, a crisp pas­try galette of caramel and pear, it’s a black pep­per hon­ey­comb for con­trast and rich vanilla ice cream for in­dul­gence. In­di­vid­ual tart cases look good. (Serves 4)

2 firm lo­cal pears (Ben uses Wil­liams)

1 litre stock syrup (equal vol­umes of sugar and wa­ter gen­tly dis­solved)

1 sprig rose­mary

1 star anise

100ml dry white wine

150g golden caster sugar

150g un­salted but­ter, cold, in small cubes Good puff pas­try, ready rolled to fit

1 free range egg Splash of milk

In a large pan, bring the stock syrup to the boil and care­fully add in the rose­mary, star anise and white wine. Bring back to the sim­mer, turn off and al­low to in­fuse while you peel the pears. Lower the peeled pears into the syrup and cover the pan. Bring back to a sim­mer and cook gen­tly over a low heat un­til the pears are cooked and soft. Re­move the pears and leave to cool. Halve and care­fully scoop out the core. Keep warm.

Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Warm your metal tart cases in the oven on a bak­ing sheet. Heat the sugar gen­tly with­out stir­ring over a low-medium heat in a wide fry­ing pan. As it starts to caramelise and be­come syrupy, scat­ter in the but­ter and start to move the pan very care­fully, swirling in the but­ter to mix. Use a wooden spat­ula to bring it to­gether. Stir in a pinch of freshly-ground black pep­per and then re­move the caramel from the heat. Add a shal­low layer to the bot­tom of each tin. Lay in a pear half. Cut a square of pas­try to com­pletely cover the top, trim the edge to a small over­lap and tuck in­side the tin care­fully. Re­peat for all four.

Whisk the egg and a lit­tle milk for an egg­wash glaze and brush over the pas­try. Bake un­til golden-brown, re­move and al­low to cool for 20 min­utes. In­vert a warm plate over each tart, and hold­ing both parts tightly with a tea towel, very care­fully turn over. Tease out the tarts from the cases and serve.

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