Parmesan Pear and Chocolate Tart

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.

This is a recipe I have refined from one that Olimpia Bortolotto of Melbourne restaurant Bortolotto originally shared in the Melbourne Age newspaper.

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.

I should have waited until it was completely cold before removing the tart tin as it cracked a little, never mind that is what icing sugar is for.

The Recipe – scroll to the base of this post to print a PDF of this recipe.

Pastry

350 g plain flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

Pinch salt

120g caster sugar

250g chilled unsalted butter, chopped

2 egg yolks

100g finely grated Parmesan cheese

Pears

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.

Mascarpone

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

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  1. #1 by malcolmenright on July 5, 2012 - 8:49 am

    I’m going public!
    (Barb and I) have had the pleasure of two servings of this divine dessert, lovely post and wonderful pastry filled treat . . .

  2. #2 by Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial on July 5, 2012 - 9:59 am

    Roz, that looks gorgeous! I love how pretty the finished pie looks, and chocolates and pears are an ideal combination!

    • #3 by tastetravel on July 5, 2012 - 9:40 pm

      With all that chocolate eating that goes on in your house, you should make this sometime soon.If possible you will be loved even more!

  3. #4 by Debra Kolkka on July 5, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    Chocolate, pears and mascarpone….what’s not to love?

    • #5 by tastetravel on July 5, 2012 - 9:29 pm

      I agree, a wonderful combination and this tart delivers a surprise with the chocolate coating hidden.

  4. #6 by Di Archos on July 5, 2012 - 9:04 pm

    Looks divine Roz…

    • #7 by tastetravel on July 5, 2012 - 9:32 pm

      I have made this recipe only 3 times in the past 15 years – it is so special occasion and avoided putting it on my blog as it so long but hopefully I have simplified it.

  5. #8 by barbaraheath on July 6, 2012 - 2:03 am

    I can vouch this was the most subtle and sumptuous desert, with the parmesan providing a sort of mysterious catalyst effect to the chocolate and pear. Another bit of kitchen magic -thanks Roz!

    • #9 by tastetravel on July 6, 2012 - 3:56 am

      Obviously I picked the right people to be recipients of this tart, thanks for compliment.

  6. #10 by Jan on July 6, 2012 - 6:41 am

    How unusual but how delicious it looks. Pears and chocolate sauce just by themselves would be delicious but I would be interested to try that combination with the extra seasoning of the Parmesan.

  7. #11 by Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on July 6, 2012 - 6:42 am

    Roz, what a beautiful recipe to make for winter! :D

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