Spiced pear and orange tart
The elements for this tart can be prepared in one go or made separately and then brought together when you’re ready to serve. The pastry and pears can be baked in the oven at the same time and left to cool.
The tart keeps in the fridge for up to four days but can’t be frozen. I have used pecan nuts for this festive version as they are rich and buttery, but almonds, hazelnuts or even walnuts work just as well. If you are nut free, sunflower seeds make a good alternative, but are not as luxurious. If necessary, use certified gluten-free oats.
For the pastry:
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons water
- 100g pecan nuts
- 150g oats
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (optional)
- 5 tablespoons water
- 3 conference pears, cut in half and core removed
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 teaspoon spices – choose from cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves or a mix of all of them
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the ‘cream’
- 300g pack of silken tofu
- 1 orange – juice and grated rind
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Pomegranate seeds and extra orange peel to garnish (optional)
Step by Step Instructions
Make the pastry:
Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC.
Mix the ground flaxseed and water together in a small bowl and leave to thicken.
Grind the nuts into a powder and place into a large bowl. Grind the oats into a flour and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt and the coconut sugar (if using).
Pour the flaxseed mix and 4 tablespoons of water into the nut and oat mix and bring together with a spoon – use your hands to form a stiff dough once things start coming together. Add the other tablespoon of water carefully if it’s a bit dry.
Once the dough is pliable but not too sticky, place it onto a silicon mat or non-stick baking paper. Press it flat and then roll out with a rolling pin to a round big enough to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
Transfer the dough to the tin by carefully picking up the mat, turning it over to hover over the tin and gently peeling it away into the tin. Once loosely placed, press the pastry into the base and sides – if bits crack, just pinch them together to mend. Trim off excess around the top and patch up any spaces as needed.
Prick the pastry on the base of the tin with a fork then place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool fully.
Bake the pears and orange
Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC.
Place the prepared pears and orange slices into an oven-proof dish. Mix the maple syrup and spices together and pour over the fruit. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the pears are soft and golden. Spoon any juices over the pears and oranges a couple of times whilst baking.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool fully.
Make the cream:
Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth and combined. Check for flavour and add more orange juice, syrup or vanilla as needed.
Spoon the cream into the pastry base and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Peel the skin off the baked pears and cut each half into thin slices.
Place the pear slices in a pattern on top of the orange cream. Carefully position the orange slices on top or in the centre.
Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and strips of orange rind over the top to garnish.
Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes before serving.
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