Parmesan Pear and Chocolate Tart
Poached pears slathered in chocolate sauce and then encased in a thick cake like pastry flavoured with Parmesan cheese. A decadent pear tart or pie I make for very deserving friends. I serve it with a Mascarpone cream mixture or you could serve it with a homemade vanilla ice cream or warm Crème Anglaise.
I used a 23 cm metal tart tin with removable base. There is enough pastry in the recipe for a larger tin – around 25cm for 6-8 pears (also depends on size of your pears).
The chocolate coated pears could have been eaten just like this.
The Recipe – scroll to the base of this post to print a PDF of this recipe.
350 g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
120g caster sugar
250g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
2 egg yolks
100g finely grated Parmesan cheese
6-8 medium size William or Burre Bosc pears
1 litre water
225g caster sugar
Grated rind of one lemon
1 cinnamon stick
Chocolate sauce filling
100g dark chocolate
50g unsalted butter
2 eggs, separated
100g caster sugar
Mascarpone cheese cream
200g Mascarpone cheese
200g caster sugar
Saved pear poaching liquid
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl (I use a food processor).
Add chopped butter, egg and finally the Parmesan cheese.
Form into a ball of dough, flatten slightly and place between sheets of non-stick baking paper, wrap and place in fridge of minimum of one hour.
Preheat oven to 180c.
Divide the pastry in half and roll out to fit the tart pan. Place the other half of pastry back in the fridge. When lining the tin, don’t worry if pastry breaks just pat back into place to fill any gaps. Pop the pastry filled tart tin back into freezer for 10 minutes.
When oven is at required temperature, take pastry out of freezer and bake blind. Baking blind – use a piece of baking paper to protect pastry and add baking weights, dried beans will suffice. Bake for 15 minutes and remove pastry weights.
Poaching the pears – Prepare the poaching liquid by adding the poaching ingredients into a heavy based saucepan.
Peel the pears, cut in half and place in the pan. Add a circle of baking paper to the top of the pears to keep pears from drying out or liquid from reducing.
Bring the liquid to the boil and let the pears simmer for 30 minutes.
When cooked remove the pears carefully and reduce the remaining liquid until it is approximately a quarter of its original volume.
Reserve some of the liquid to thin the mascarpone cheese cream.
Chocolate filling – Melt chocolate and butter by placing in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water or if you are confident with the microwave it will save you the bain marie fuss. Once melted together, set aside to cool.
Whip the separated egg whites until stiff peaks are formed and fold gently into the chocolate mixture. Mix the egg yolks with sugar and add to the chocolate sauce.
Place the pear halves in the tart, round ends facing the outside of the circle.
Coat the pears with the chocolate sauce.
Roll out the other half of the pastry and cover the tart. Make a few holes with the tines of a fork.
Cook at 180c for 30 minutes.
By hand blend all ingredients in a mixing bowl, add the poaching liquid to thin it a little.
Serve the tart at room temperature, do not refrigerate before serving.
Dust the tart with icing sugar.
NB Optional – you can serve some of the reduced syrup on the side.
Click here for a PDF printer friendly Parmesan Pear and Chocolate Tart