We had a fantastic pear season this year in Australia. Pears were pretty and very sweet. This gave me the opportunity to experiment with a few tartelettes recipes. These pear woven tartelettes are my final and most accomplished version.
I couldn’t resist but attempt a still life with these beautiful pears…
This is a 15cm diameter tartelette. I made 4 with this recipe. I decided not to brush egg yolks on top to make the pastry shiny. I like the mat look. But you can do otherwise.
To make things easier, I use my Magimix Cook Expert to make the pastry crust, the pastry cream and the almond cream. You can use any thermo-machine such as Magimix, Tefal Cuisine Companion, Kitchen Aid Cook Processor or any appliance on THIS TABLE.
You can also do all of this by hand :)
The recipe starts by making pastry dough. It takes only 5 mins to make a dough ball which needs to stay in the fridge for 30 mins minimum, while you are making the creams and chopping the fruits.
The second step is to make pastry cream. It’s an easy one if you have a thermo-mixer. All ingredients are dropped in the bowl a few buttons pressed and minutes later it’s ready. If you do not own such a gem, don’t worry, I will explain the classic way.
Here is the crème pâtissière or pastry cream which you will need to cover with plastic wrap in contact with the cream to avoid a skin to form. The pastry cream will cool in the fridge while you are preparing the rest.
The third step is to make delicious almond cream. You can see photos of each and every step HERE.
Next and forth step is to flatten and cut the dough.
When the dough has waited enough (more than 30 mins) you will simply spread it with a rolling pin. I like it thin :) a few millimetres only. To know how big the rounds of dough should be, I place the mould bottom down on the thinly flatten dough. I use a knife with a pointy tip and trace 2 cm or more around the mould. It doesn’t need to be extremely precise.
Then the fifth step is the spreading of the almond cream and pastry cream. I start with the almond cream.
The pastry cream is taken out of the fridge…
…and spread over the almond cream.
Lucky me, I had a gorgeous little assistant in the person of Léonore. She likes to press on Magimix Cook Expert‘s buttons under my supervision.
The sixth step is to peel and cut the pear in thin slices, then push them down the layers of creams.
Last step, the seventh is to cut ribbons of dough and weave them on top of the tartelettes. I do not use a ruler or anything fancy. I just cut as straight as I can and keep a constant width: 1 cm if small tartelettes and larger if a standard tart. I also like to cut my standard ribbon in two for a tartan effect (see first photo).
These tartelettes will feed up to 8 people (they are a bit too big for 1 person). You can serve them hot or cold, with a crème anglaise (thin vanilla custard) or ice-cream.
This is what they look like inside. You can see above and below, the thin pastry with almond cream and pastry cream on top.
You can make this recipe skipping one of the creams, either almond or pastry. What I like in mixing them together is that the almond cream being quite rich can be a bit sickening after a few bites. Pastry cream lightens it all up and makes the tartelette less dry, creamier. It is a very good balance I think.
These are my little tartelette moulds :)
- 125g diced butter
- 250g (8.8oz) flour
- 80g (2.8oz) cold water
- 1 tbs raw sugar
- 100ml (3.5oz) milk
- 100ml (3.5oz) water
- 1tbsp vanilla paste
- 35g (1.23oz) corn flour
- 3 eggs
- 80g (2.8oz) sugar
- 20g (0.7oz) butter
- 1 cap or tbs of nice brown rum
- 100g (3.5oz) butter, cubed
- 100g (3.5oz) sugar
- 10g (0.35oz) corn flour
- 100g (3.5oz) almond meal
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla paste (optional)
- 1 cap rum
- 3 little pears or 2 big
- butter for moulds
- (1 egg yolk to brush woven pastry crust OPTIONAL)
- Start with the PASTRY. Put all ingredients in a food processor, stand mixer or thermo-machine. Launch the pastry program or mix all ingredients (no heat required) into a ball. It usually takes 2 mins. You can also put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them with your hands.
- Wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
- PASTRY CREAM: If using a thermo-machine, pour all ingredients in the bowl. Select 14 mins / Speed 4 / 95°C (203°F).
- If using a saucepan, pour the water and milk in a pan with a spoon of natural vanilla extract. Bring it to the boil and take it off the fire. Put it aside for a few minutes with a lid on the saucepan to infuse the vanilla without evaporating the milk.
- In a bowl, whisk the yolks with sugar until light yellow and creamy.
- Add the corn flour. Whisk.
- Reheat it until it simmers. Pour boiled milk over the egg mix very slowly starting with a few drops which you will mix very energetically. Pour more and more, whisk fast until you have poured the whole liquid.
- Put everything back in the pan. Bring to the boil while whisking vigorously to avoid the cream to stick at the bottom of the pan and burn.
- It will start to thicken very quickly. When it's reached a thick custard feel, take it off the fire. Put in the fridge with a plastic wrap on top, touching the surface of the cream all over.
- ALMOND CREAM: Tip sugar in food-processor 45 sec, speed 18, no temperature. Or use icing/confectionery sugar.
- Add all remaining ingredients. Expert mode 30 sec, speed 3, 37°C (100°F).
- Scrape down, add 30 sec, speed 3, 37°C (100°F).
- Pour in a small bowl, ready to use.
- MAKING TARTELETTES: Preheat oven at 160°C (320F°). (I'd rather bake them longer and keep a nice un-burnt tartelette).
- Butter 4 little moulds.
- Spread the rested pastry dough to a thin layer of 3 mm with a rolling pin.
- Place a mould bottom down on the flatten dough and cut around 2,5 to 3 cm. Repeat 3 times. Place a circle of dough in each of the 4 moulds.
- Spread 2 generous tbs of almond cream in each mould. Do the same with pastry cream.
- Peel and slice 3 pears. Push the pear slices in the creams (see photos on blog or do it as you like).
- Cut ribbons of thin pastry dough 1 cm (0.4in) large. If necessary, make a ball of the dough again and re-flatten it.
- Place the ribbons vertically side by side leaving a 1 cm (0.4in) gap.. Fold 1 in 2 back towards you. Place a ribbon horizontally. Fold vertical ribbons back over the vertical one. Keep on doing this :)
- Cut the part of ribbons which are too long and tuck them in against the sides.
- Roll the sides to make a nice round edge.
- Bake for 30 mins or more, until the top has risen and the crust is golden.