This Sunday morning I woke up early (8am) to bake. It was just lovely. It was not sunny but in fact grey and raining but this was nothing but comforting for me. As much as I love sunny mornings, sometimes I think that I might enjoy that grey mornings – when I do have to leave the house – more, especially when I am baking in the kitchen.
So, as you know, I bought a new recipe book, and I have been really excited cooking the recipes. During the week I made some savoury muffins and an almond butter loaf. This weekend I was looking forward to more baking. Saturday, I pretty much spent all day on the sofa watching an unnamed series on Netflix. I think I was just very tired. So this morning I was full of energy.
The first thing that made this morning was a pear tart. It has been a long time since I made a shortcrust base which was relatively easy. The filling for this tart is essentially pears and pear juice sugar and cornflour – like a pear and custard mixture. There was a great deal of pear filling and rather too much for the shortcrust base. So I decided to add it to a cake mixture and make a pear cake.
So I’ll be looking forward sampling this with a small amount of ice-cream later this evening. I am not sure yet whether I will be choosing the cake or tart but I know I will enjoy whatever I choose.
For the base:
250g (90z) plain flour
125g (4 1/2 oz) fine cane sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
150g (5 1/2 oz) vegan margarine
1 – 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
800g (1 3/4 lb) pears
900 ml (1 1/2 pints) pear juice
85g (3oz) cornflour
6 tbsp fine cane sugar
1 – 2 tsp vanilla extract
250 ml carton soya cream, suitable for whipping, well chilled
ground cinnamon, for dusting
- To make the base, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Work in the margarine using your fingers, add the vanilla extract, and bring everything together to create a smooth shortcrust pastry. Line a springform tin with baking paper. Put the pastry into the tin, pressing it down and smoothing it out with a tablespoon. Create a rim of 7cm (2 3/4 in) up the sides. Prick the base with a fork and leave to chill for 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, to make the filling, peel and quarter the pears, remove the cores and dice the pears finely. Put the pear juice into a pan. In a bowl, mix the cornflour with the sugar, add a bit of the pear juice and vanilla extract, and stir until the mixture is smooth there are no visible lumps.
3. Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF/Gas 4). Bring the pear juice to the boil over a moderate heat, remove the pan from the hob, and stir in the cornflour mixture. Bring the mixture back to the boil, stirring constantly, then swiftly fold in the diced pear. Pour over the shortcrust base and bake the tart in the centre of the oven for 1 hour. Remove and leave to cool completely in the tin.
4. Whip the soya cream and then chill until ready to serve. Cut the tart into pieces, put a generous blob of cream on each portion, and dust with plenty of cinnamon.