Sunday, 15 February 2015

Pear, Frangipane and Caramel Tartlets


Pear, Frangipane and caramel tarts smell nice. They are also sticky.



I got the Top With Cinnamon cookbook for Christmas which I may have said before(I can't remember...) and I really wanted to cook something out of it. I ended up choosing the tarts because I like pears and caramel.

There were a few learning experiences included in the making of them...



Frangipane is very hard to spread onto pastry. By the end of it I no longer had nice circles and instead had weird shapes. I then had try and reshape them. So use your fingers people. Don't even try it with a spoon. Just go straight in with your fingers.

Trying to make sliced pear look nice is hard. Harder than it looks. So don't bother. Just plonk them on. It will look fine.

Caramel is hard to make. The first time I did it it went all light coloured and hard. Dunno what happened there. One second it was all nice and like golden syrup and then the next second it was all crumbly.


Ingredients:

1 quantity of pastry

1 quantity Frangipane

6 small pears

3 tbsp granulated sugar

3 tbsp pistachios, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. On a lightly floured piece of baking parchment, roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 3mm. Use a 9cm pastry ring to cut out 12 pastry circles. Transfer the circles to a baking tray lines with baking parchment.

Top each pastry circle with a generous teaspoon of the frangipane and spread it out evenly. Finely slice the pear halves and use half a sliced pear to decorate each tartlet. Bake for 10 minutes until the pastry has darkened around the edges.

Heat the sugar with 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has just dissolved, then stop stirring. Swirl the mixture, tilting the pan over a high heat until the sugar caramelises and the mixture is completely golden with some darker patches around the edges. Immediately remove the pan from the hear and use a pastry brush to dab the caramel over the baked tartlets. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and leave to cool.



To make the Pastry:

Ingredients:

215g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp demerara sugar (for sweet pastry)

100g coconut oil (this really flavours the pastry, so if you don't like coconut, use something else like butter!)


In a large bowl stir together the flours, salt and sugar(if you are using it) with your hands. Add the coconut oil and rub it into the dry ingredients using your fingertips, until the mixture has a crumbly texture. Add some water, starting with 2 tablespoons and work it into the mixture until it starts to come together. You can add up to 2 more tablespoons. Pull it into a ball and divide it in half and wrap them each in clingfilm. Chill for at least 3 min, and for up to 3 days. They can be frozen for up to a month.


To make the Frangipane:

Ingredients:

3 tbsp butter or 4 tbsp Almond Butter (I used the almond butter)

50g light brown sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp plain flour

1/4 tsp salt

45g ground almonds


Cream together the butter type, sugar and egg. Stir in the flour, salt and ground almonds and mix until smooth and creamy.

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