Living in Paris for the past five months has been a wonderful experience. I now know Paris very well. I can walk around the different areas without a map, quite an achievement believe me! I have seen so many Tarts and Gateaux in patisseries and yet I am still inspired to make my own. I have enjoyed going out to many different places for lunch and been surprised to see how many Parisian woman sit down to a three course lunch with a tart or something equally delicious for dessert, and yet they remain slim. Maybe it is because of all the walking you do living in a city where driving is not really a sensible option? Maybe it is the way you seldom see people eating unless they are sitting down at a table? I am not sure but it has reinforced my belief that you should eat what you feel like eating when you feel like eating it.

 

This week I decided to make my pastry with ginger through it and the filling with almond and pear. It is a gorgeous combination. The bite of the ginger goes so well with the smooth favour of the pear. I blind baked the pastry first and then filled it and baked it again. I am in a new apartment in the Marais and I am finding the oven difficult to control. Funny that the last apartment had a much older oven and yet we were friends straight away, where as this one will not be tamed easily. As a result the pastry is a little overcooked on the edges. This dessert would be great in summer or in winter.

Recipe

Ginger Pastry

1 tablespoon of ground ginger

150 grams of unsalted butter softened

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup golden syrup

3 cups of plain flour

a pinch of salt

2 eggs, beaten

Sift the flour, ginger and salt onto a work surface and make a well in the center. Put the butter in the well and rub it through until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the brown sugar  and golden syrup and then the eggs and knead a few times to bring it together. Then wrap in cling wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

Ingredients for the Frangipane with Pear

125g butter

1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger

125g sugar

3 eggs

125g ground almonds / almond flour

2 Pears peeled and sliced into pieces you find comfortable to decorate with

Method

Unwrap the dough from the cling wrap. Make sure the dough is cool but supple by the time you want to roll it out. Roll out then place in a tart tin and blind bake for ten minutes at 170 degrees.

Now make the frangipane by melting the 125g of butter slowly over low heat and letting it cool slightly. Beat the sugar together with the three eggs until creamy and add the melted butter while continuing to beat. Add the almond flour and mix well.

Peel and slice your pears ready to place over the frangipane.

Now spread the frangipane evenly into the tart tin (it will spread out nice and evenly on it’s own). Do not fill to the rim, because you want to put in the fruit next. Place pear slices in a pattern on the top.
Slide the tart into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven. When it’s beautifully golden brown, puffed and firm to the touch, it is ready. Leave to cool on a rack. You can place creme fraiche next to the tart on the plate, dust the tart with icing sugar before serving.

 

 

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