Chocolate, Pear and Cinnamon Tart

With a spiced festive flavour, Giancarlo Caldesi's dessert is a prepare-pudding that's great for celebrations
By Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi
Chocolate, Pear and Cinnamon Tart
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 20 mins chilling time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 50 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg

For the filling

  • 2 pears, fresh or canned
  • 100 g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 300 g mascarpone
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large pinches freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • icing sugar, for dusting

To serve

  • homemade vanilla ice cream
  • fresh redcurrants, (optional)

Method

1. For the pastry: combine the ingredients for the pastry in a food processor or in a bowl using your hands. When they are well mixed, wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin with butter.

3. For the filling: peel fresh pears and if they are not ripe, poach them for 15 minutes in simmering water, then drain. If you are using canned ones, simply drain them.

4. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a pan of gently simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly. Beat the egg yolks and mascarpone until pale and creamy. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper and mix well. Pour in the cooled chocolate and stir well.

5. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold them lightly into the chocolate mixture using a metal spoon.

6. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll the pastry out to a 28cm circle approximately 5mm thick. To stop the pastry sticking to the rolling pin, you can also put cling film between the rolling pin and pastry. Lay the pastry in the tart tin, press it gently around the sides and trim. Prick the bottom all over with a fork.

7. Cut each pear into 8 thick slices, removing any pips. Arrange the slices in a circle on the pastry. Top with the chocolate mixture and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the filling comes away clean. The top should feel firm to the touch and have cracked a little. Leave to cool then dust with icing sugar.

8. Serve at room temperature with ice cream, and a few redcurrants if you like. If you're making the tart the day before you intend to eat it, store it overnight in the fridge, and remove 30 minutes before serving to take the edge off the coldness.

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