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Poached Pear & Pastry Cream Tart



Poached Pear with Pastry Cream


Buying Guide:

The best pears to use for poaching are Conference, Comice and William and for this dish I used William.


Equipment:

1 medium pan, weighing scales, measuring jug, perforated spoon.


Recipe:

250g Caster Sugar, 250ml cold water, ¼ Lemon, 3 Pears.


Method:

*Add the sugar, water and lemon to the pan and bring to the boil, this is your stock syrup. *Peel the pears and remove only the eye out the core. *Put the pears in to the syrup and bring back to the boil then simmer gently for 12-15 minutes. *Make a circle with some grease proof paper, remove the center by 1½ inch and place on the pears. *To check if cooked, prick with a knife and it should go through easily.


Notes:

Keep an eye on the pears and make sure that they don’t over cook.


Pastry Cream


Buying Guide:

Depending on your dietary requirements will depend on the type of milk and flour you buy so just adjust your preference to suit your needs.


Equipment:

Sieve, 1 wide bottom pan, heat proof spatula, 3 mixing bowls, plastic container, whisk, chopping board and small knife, measuring jug and weighing scales, dry oven cloth or gloves, mixing machine, 1 piping bag, 1 medium pan and 1 small mixing bowl.


Recipe:

500 Lt milk (As per dietary requirements), ½ tsp cinnamon , 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, 30g corn flour, 30g plain flour, 200g caster sugar, 150g dark chocolate.


Method:

*Measure the milk and pour in to your pan and heat gently over a low heat. *With your knife, carefully cut the vanilla pod lengthways, scrap the seeds out and add to the milk. *In both the bowls carefully crack 2 eggs in each then remove 2 yolks from one bowl and add to the other bowl, leaving behind the egg whites. (Put the white in the fridge for meringues or Souffles) *Whisk the eggs and sieve out the shell by pouring in to a clean bowl. *Measure both flours with the sugar then add to the eggs and whisk together until pale. (You will be able to make a figure of 8 when it is ready) *Bring your milk to the boil and pour on to the egg mixture then pour back to the pan. *Heat gently until it thickens for approximately 5 minutes then pour it in to a plastic container and directly cover it with cling film to stop it from forming a skin. *Allow to cool then put it in the fridge to set for a few hours. *Remove from the fridge and blend in the mixing machine to smooth the cream then spoon in to the piping bags and place it back in the fridge until required.


Vegan Pastry Cream


Buying Guide:

There are many types of milks available in the supermarkets for dietary requirements. Agave syrup is a good alternative to caster sugar.


Equipment:

Scales, Medium pot, Spatula, Measuring jug, Tbl & T’spoons, Whisk, Knife and Chopping board, Sieve, Food container.


Recipe:

500ml Plant based milk, 3 Tsp Vanilla extract or ½ Vanilla pods, 4 Tbsp Tapioca.


Method:

*Weigh and put all your ingredients in the pot, whisk together then put on to cook. *Gradually bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. *once cooked, pour in to a food container and cool, then refrigerate and use as required. *When ready to use, beat it to soften the mixture and place in to a piping bag.

Notes:

Weigh all ingredients first and remember that Agave syrup is sweeter and is of liquid form so only adding what you need to taste the sweetness.


Blackberry Gel


Buying Guide:

Usually I would prefer to buy a liquid puree as it comes as a convenience although frozen berries are also a good choice and the price compared to fresh fruit is considerably cheaper.


Equipment:

Food blender, Sieve, medium sized bowl, measuring jug, scales, sauce pan, pastry scraper, spatula.


Recipe:

125ml Water, 125g Caster sugar, 250ml Blackberry puree, 7g agar or veggie set.

Method:

Stock syrup – boil together the water and sugar then add the stabiliser, whisk and boil for 2 minutes. In the food processor blend the fruit to a puree and sieve over a bowl to remove any pulp. Mix both together in a bowl and cool over ice water or set it in the fridge for approximately an hour. Once set it should feel like a spring like texture. Place it back in to the food processor and blend until smooth and then put it in to a plastic bottle or a piping bag and then in to the fridge until needed.


Notes:

Agar agar and Veggie set are a suitable vegan stabiliser to gelatine as gelatine can be found in cows and pigs.


Hazelnut Praline


Buying Guide:

Try to buy the hazelnuts without the skins on.


Equipment:

Baking tray, 1 wide based cooking pan clean oven cloth, oven gloves, chopping board, knife, pastry brush, small bowl, sugar thermometer or food probe, food blender, baking paper, plastic containers, scales.


Recipe:

250g Hazelnuts, 500g Caster Sugar, 250ml water, ¼ Lemon


Method:

Hazelnuts *Turn on the oven and set it to 160*C *Open your packet of hazelnuts, weigh and place on the baking tray then put in to the oven for 8-10 minutes. *If you buy them with the skins on then you will need to take them out of the oven and put them in to the clean oven cloth, cover over and rub them until the skins are separated. (Discard skin) *Place the hazelnuts back in to the oven for a further 5-8 minute until the nuts are golden brown. *When ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool and repeat the skin process if you need to. *When cooled put into an airtight container and kept like this they can stay fresh for up to a month.

Caramel *Use the baking sheet above, wipe clean and line it with baking paper *Take your pan and place on the scales then add the sugar and the water, then put on to the cooker and dissolve over a low heat. (Do not boil until dissolved) *Once dissolved turn the heat up and bring to the boil until the temperature reaches 194*C and golden in colour. *Giving you a heads up about this. Make sure you are careful when handling hot sugar and never stir it but gently swirl the pan to incorporate the outside of the caramel in to the middle. *Remove from the heat and then add the nuts and mix. *Pour evenly on to the grease proof papered tray and cool. (Please see notes at the bottom) *Once all is cooled then break the caramel and place it in to a blending machine and blend until fine. *Your praline is now ready so store in an airtight container and use as required.


Notes: To clean the sugar pan add hot water and bring to the boil covered with a lid. You can use the powder to make shapes when reheating and melting in the oven.


Sweet Pastry

250g butter, 500g plain flour, 175g icing sugar, 1 lemon zest, 1 vanilla pod, 1 large egg.


Method

*Weigh all ingredients then cut the butter in to dice and add to the mixing machine. *Sieve the icing sugar in a mixing bowl then add to the butter, mix slowly to start then on full speed for 30 seconds. *Clean the sides down and repeat the process a few more times until it is totally incorporated. *Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways, scrape the insides out and then add it to the butter mix. *Add the sifted flour and the lemon zest and mix again. *Crack the egg into a small bowl and add to the mixture and blend until it forms together. If it is to dry then crack another egg, whisk it then add it a little at a time until it takes on a smooth texture, you may only need an extra half an egg. *Remove from the machine and mix on a table to form a ball and add a dusting of flour if it is too wet, flatten it, wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes. *After resting the pastry, remove the film then place the paste on a floured table and roll it out evenly to the desired shape. *Roll it back on to the rolling pin and then unroll it over the flan ring and push in to the corners, trim off the excess overlap and keep to one side. *Place the pastry in the fridge for a further 20 minutes, cut some baking paper to size then place in the middle of the pastry with baking beans. *Cook at 160 C / 320 F / gas 2-3 for 20-25 minutes, when cooked check for cracks and fill in with the spare pastry you kept to one side. While this is cooking you can start making the lemon tart mix.


Puff Pastry


Buying Guide:

Puff pastry can be brought from most supermarkets, but remember to always read the label before your purchase.


Equipment:

Tart rings, baking paper, rolling pin, small knife, baking beans and cling film, pastry brush, dusting flour.


Recipe:

Ruff puff pastry and plain flour.

Method

*Dust the table with flour and roll out the pastry to 3 mm thick *Brush the excess flour from the surface then turn over and place in the baking rings. *Push in to the rings and trim the excess pastry. *Line with 2 sheets of cling film and fill with baking beans. *Rest for 15 minutes in the fridge then bake at 155c for 15 minutes, remove the beans and bake for a further 10-12 minutes. *When cooked, press the base as this would have risen and allow to cool.


To Serve *For both types of pastry, half fill with the cream. *Slice your pears and place in to the tarts. *Garnish with the gel, the praline crisps and the chocolate mousse

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