Alice Hart’s pear and parmesan tarte tatin with thyme pastry recipe

For those who want to eat more vegetables, the British chefs new vegetarian cookbook has plenty of tasty options

It’s a rare recipe than runs as a starter, main or cheese course. Served as a starter or main, a rocket( arugula) side salad wouldn’t go amiss. As a dessert or cheese course, the tart will stand alone or can be accompanied by a little creme fraiche. Figs and hard goat’s cheese also work extremely well instead of the pears and parmesan.

serves 6-8

75g light brown sugar
50g butter
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp thyme leaves
6 ripe but firm pears, quartered and cored

For the pastry
100g butter
200g plain( all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
100g parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp thyme leaves

Alice Hart’s pear tarte tatin. Photograph: Lisa Linder/ Murdoch Books

To induce the pastry, whizz the butter and flour in a food processor until it resembles fine crumbs.

Add a pinch of salt and the parmesan and combination for a few seconds. Add the egg and thyme and blitz again until the pastry just comes together into a ball.

Knead briefly until smooth, shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 C( Gas 4 ).

Heat the sugar in a 25 cm tatin dish or ovenproof frying pan until it melts, shaking and swirling from is high time to time so it meltings evenly.

Increase the heat somewhat and add the butter and vinegar, permitting the mixture to bubble for a minute or so.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the walnuts and thyme. Arrange the pears on top, rounded side down, in snug, concentric circles.

On a softly floured surface, roll the pastry into a circle 2cm larger than the dish or frying pan. Utilizing a rolling pin to pick the pastry up, encompass the fruit snugly, tucking the leading edge in to enclose everything securely.

Vegetarian( Murdoch Books, $14.99 ), by Alice Hart. Photo: Murdoch Books

Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and the caramel is bubbling at the edges.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes before placing an inverted plate( ideally one with a lip to catch the sauce) on top of the pan.

Wearing oven gloves and holding the plate and pan tightly, flip the whole lot over. Remove the pan to disclose the tarte, pushing any dislodged pears back into place if necessary.

  • This is an edited extract from Vegetarian( Murdoch Books, $14.99) by Alice Hart, out now .

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