It’s probably a strange time to be posting a pear recipe, but I used some I’d bottled last year and if you don’t mind buying imported, you should be able to find fresh pears in the shops even out of season. They should be ripe but not squishy.
Adjust the quantity of sugar to taste, depending on the ripeness and sweetness of your pears. Ditto the amount and type of spice. I love ginger and I think it perks up the pears rather nicely but if you don’t, leave it out.
Spiced Pear, Ginger and Maple Tart
5-6 pears, depending on size, peeled and thickly sliced, tossed in a little lemon juice
1-2 tbsp caster sugar, to taste, mixed with 1/2 tspn each of ground ginger and cinnamon
1 sheet ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
60g ground almonds
A few chunks of stem ginger in syrup, drained and halved or quartered
A little beaten egg, to glaze the pastry
Maple syrup, to glaze the finished tart
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Peel, core and slice the pears and mix them with a little lemon juice to stop them browning. Mix the sugar and spices together and toss the pears in the spiced sugar.
Unroll the pastry and place it onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Score a line about 2cm in from the edges without cutting all the way through. This will rise on baking to give an edge to the tart.
Prick the middle section all over with a fork and scatter over the ground almonds, taking care to keep them within the inner square. They’ll soak up any juices and help keep the tart crisp, a handy tip from Lynn Scarlet Clark at InkSugarSpice.
Arrange the sliced pears on top of the ground almonds, tucking in a few slices of candied ginger as you go. Score the edges of the pastry lightly and glaze the rim with beaten egg.
Bake for 15-20 minutes then reduce the heat to 180C/350/Gas Mark 4 for a further 10-20, until the edges are risen and golden and the base is crisp. Remove from the oven and slide carefully onto a wire rack – easiest still on the baking paper.
Wait until the tart is lukewarm then brush maple syrup over the fruit to glaze. It’s good with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche.