Jul 262020

6 beurre bosc (ripe brown) pears.
Handful of brown sugar.
Slosh of verjuice.
Largish knob of butter for frying.
2½ cups almond meal.
½ cup wholemeal plain flour.
Pinch of salt.
150g soft butter (not hard or frozen), cut into small pieces.
½ cup caster sugar.
¼ cup almonds, chopped.
2 egg yolks.
4-8 tablespoons ice water.
Handful of whole almonds.


Slice the pears, discarding the pips and stem. In a large pan, gently fry the slices in butter. When slightly soft, sprinkle a handful of brown sugar on top, and pour over the verjuice. Continue cooking until the pears are soft, but not too soft.

Mix the salt, almond meal and plain flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, in small pieces, and rub into the flour with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and chopped almonds and mix well.

Add the egg yolks and 4 tablespoons of ice water, mixing together with a round-bladed knife until the mixture forms lumps which leave the sides of the bowl cleanly. If the mixture is too dry, add more water, a spoonful at a time.

Knead the dough into a ball, and flatten slightly onto a sheet of foil or greaseproof paper. Wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes before use.

Smear a large, shallow dish with butter. Fill the base with the pastry, edging around the inner circumference.

Cook in a medium oven (around 180degC) for about 10 minutes on the second shelf of the oven. When the pastry hardens slightly, fill the tart with pear pieces and decorate with whole almonds. Pour over the remaining liquid from the pan.

Return the completed tart to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. As it can burn easily, inspect frequently, until pastry edge turns brown.

Serve hot or cold with cream, ice-cream or both.