Note: the pastry is best mixed the night before and
refrigerated; even then it is very soft and requires
some considerable care to roll and assemble.
Note: benefits from having a food processor or mixer.
Note: best served fresh, while the pastry is crisp.
For the pastry case:
100 gm salted butter
50 gm icing sugar
50 gm ground almonds
two egg yolks
140 gm flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the poached pears:
four pears, peeled, quartered length-ways, core removed
1 litre water
150 gm sugar
1 vanilla pod, halved, the seeds released
the zest of 1 lemon
For the almond cream:
150 gm salted butter
150 gm ground almonds
150 gm caster sugar
one large or two small eggs
Mix the butter, sugar and ground almonds for the
pastry in a food processor.
Add the egg yolks and continue mixing to achieve a smooth
Mix the flour and baking powder together in a bowl.
Add this to the pastry mixture and mix until combined.
Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Pre-heat your oven to 190 C.
Put a spot of olive oil into your flan dish and use a piece
of paper towel to spread it over the base and the inner sides.
Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto the oiled surface and
then lift the flan dish sideways and hit/rotate it to spread
the flour around both the base and the sides as best you can;
all of this stops the pastry sticking.
Flour a surface really well and roll the
pastry out on it to a size where it will cover the flan dish
base and sides; you may need to use a flat spatula/knife to
lift the pastry from the surface and distribute more flour
underneath it to stop it sticking.
Carefully roll the pastry onto your rolling pin and then
off it onto the flan dish; if the pastry breaks use offcuts to
repair the damage.
Trim the edges of the pastry away.
Bake the pastry on its own for 15 minutes, until just
beginning to brown (no baking beads are required); remove from
the oven and allow to cool.
Poach the pear slices in the poaching mixture for 10
Remove the pear slices from the poaching mixture and slice
each into three length-ways.
Make the almond cream by zizzing the ingredients in a food
Spread the almond cream evenly over the pastry base.
Embed the pear slices in the almond cream, radially, in a
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes; you want the almond mixture to
begin to brown without burning the pastry.