Pear for One

When there is left over pastry from making a sweet tart, I am loath to throw the cut offs. The collection of cut-offs, bits and edges of pastry are brought together, I knead it into a rough ball, wrap in cling fling and store it in the fridge.  It will be used up quite quickly, as in this case for a simple and classic poached pear on crème patissiere.  Sometimes these things just work out for the better; leftover sweet tart pastry, a lone pear and some really good green tea which will not quite make a cup of tea.

Ingredients for Sweet Tart Pastry

Easiest bit – the leftovers!  Remove from fridge and cling flim!

3/4g of green tea.  You can use black or Oolong tea likewise.

Ingredients for the Crème Patissiere

150ml of whole milk

2 egg yolks

25g sugar

10g plain flour

10g cornflour

1 vanilla pod, split

Ingredients for the Poached Pear

1 pear, peeled, cored and quarted

Pear Peels

Water to just cover the pear

40g sugar

2 small sticks of cinnamon

1 star anise

3/4 cardamoms

Fresh mint flowers for decorating

Method for Crème Patissiere

Sieve flour and corn flour and keep aside

Heat the milk with half of the sugar on medium heat until simmering.  Add the split vanilla pod and seeds

Whisk the sugar with the egg yolks and until pale.  Add the flour and corn flour and whisk until combined

Once the milk is at simmering point, gradually add some of the milk to the egg yolk and flour mix and whisk

Add this back into the pan with the milk and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens

As the mixture thickens, turn the heat down a bit.

When bubbles appear, you know that the flour is cooked, remove from the heat and pour onto a flat tray and smooth it out. This will ensure the crème patissiere cools quickly and evenly.

Cover with cling film (to prevent a skin forming), press down to remove any air pockets and set aside to cool.

Method for Poaching Pear

Cover the quartered pear with water, add the sugar and spices and simmer until the pear is soft

Poaching Pear

Remove and drain

Slice the pear into thin slivers when cool. Keep aside.

Method for Tea Infused Sweet Tart Pastry

Preheat the oven to 170°C (conventional oven)/325°F/gas mark 3

Grease a tart tin and keep aside

Scatter the green tea leaves on your work surface and roll the tart pastry over it.

Lightly dust the work surface and roll out the pastry to about the thickness of a £1 coin, use a fork to prick some holes in the pastry (to prevent it puffing up) and place in the tart tin.

Tea Flecked Pastry

Lightly dust the work surface and roll out the pastry to about the thickness of a £1 coin, use a fork to prick some holes in the pastry (to prevent it puffing up) and place in the tart tin.

Gently push the pastry into all the curves as much as possible and place in the fridge to rest while you prepare the crème patissiere.

Once the crème patissiere is made and cooling, remove the tart tin and ease the pastry into all the curves, nooks and corners of your tart tin.  Trim off the excess.

Place beans or rice in an oven proof cling film (double or triple-layered) to blind bake the tart case

Bake for 8 minutes, remove the baking beans/rice and bake for a further 6 minutes or until golden brown.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tart tray, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

The green tea would yield a little colouring around the leaf itself and into the pastry.  The sweet grassy notes of green tea goes wonderfully well with the freshness of the pears and the creaminess of the crème patissiere

Bringing it Together

Whisk the crème patissiere to lighten it and pour into the sweet tart pastry.  Level with spatula, arrange the sliced pears and sprinkle with mint flowers.

 

Tea Infused Pastry with Creme Patissiere and Poached Pear and Mint Flowers