A really easy, super tasty but still impressive looking dessert. You can substitute another poached or stewed fruit. This recipe will have leftover poached pears, great for breakfast or with chocolate sauce and icecream. You can of course make your own pastry and I like to make extra and freeze in balls or lined tart tins for later use. I have used Careme pastry but I do question whether it is worth paying alot more for Carame as opposed to other supermarket brands.
15 minutes plus 1 1/2 cooking time
Serves 4 generously
8 buerre bosc pears, peeled stems left on
6 cups water
3 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
Slug of alcohol (water is on hand white wine, brandy, I just used dry vermouth)
1 pack Careme Vanilla bean short crust pastry (or substitute another variety)
2 tspns brown sugar
Mix water and sugar together over low heat in large saucepan until dissolved (this is just a simple 1:2 sugar syrup mix so can increase quantities easily).
Add peeled pears (don’t peel too far in advance as they will start to brown), spices and alcohol if using.
Bring to a simmer and cover with a circular piece of baking paper resting on the surface to keep pears immersed. Simmer for 45min-1 hour until tender but not overly soft or falling apart.
Remove from heat. This step can be made up to a few days in advance just store pears covered in syrup in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 180C. Remove pastry from freezer and allow to defrost for 5-10 minutes.
Remove 4 pears from fridge and cut into wedges of approx 3 cm in width discarding cores.
Mix one egg with a fork (this will be your egg wash).
Unroll pastry and cut into 14 cm rounds (the approximate size of a small side plate which you can place on the pastry and cut around. Extra pastry can be joined together to make additional rounds but 1 pack of Careme makes 4 rounds.
Place rounds on tray or trays lined with baking paper leave 5 cms at least between each round.
Layer pears wedges in one layer over each round in a circle over leaving a pastry border of approximately 7cm. Pears should be slightly overlapping. You might not need all the pear pieces you have cut up.
Curl up sides of pastry over pears. Pastry is not meant to meet in the middle only the outside of the pears are covered with pastry. Sprinkle the exposed pears on each round with 1/2 tspn of brown sugar. Then paint egg wash over pastry border with pastry brush.
Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden brown and short crusty.
Remove from heat. Place each round on a large plate top with little double cream and a scoop of good quality icecream.