Friday 3 February 2012

Paradise Pear, Pancetta & Camembert Tart

Wow, is it February already? Hard to believe really. I haven't been all that well over the past couple of weeks so they have seemed to kind of disappear. Hopefully things will improve though. 

I haven't been doing a lot of cooking but I did make these lovely little tarts a while ago. While shopping the one day I saw a package of Paradise Pears. These are tiny little pears. I remembered seeing them in stores last year too but hadn't bought them. So I decided that I would get some and experiment. I decided to use some in a savoury dish. I came across this recipe on Taste and adapted it to how I wanted them to be. I served it with a lovely little side salad. It was a perfect result, if I do say so myself. The sweetness from the caramelised onion & pears combined perfectly with the salty pancetta and silky custard. Camembert was just the icing on the cake.

Paradise Pear, Pancetta & Camembert Tart


1 1/2 cups plain flour
125 g butter, cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp white vinegar
water to make up 1/2 c with egg & vinegar

Combine flour & salt, cut in butter. Combine egg & vinegar and add water. Add slowly to flour & butter mixture until you get a soft pastry. (You probably wont need all the liquid) Wrap in glad wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll out and line 10 cm individual tart pans. Place tart pans on a baking tray and chill in freezer for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
Line pastry shells with baking paper and fill with pie weights/beans/rice and bake for 15 minutes. Remove baking paper and weights and return to oven for a further 10 - 15 minutes or until slightly golden.

For filling: 

3 Paradise pears 
30 g butter
2 tsp brown sugar 
2 tbsp caramelised onions
4 very thin slices pancetta
150 g camembert
2 eggs 
1/2 c milk
salt & pepper, to taste

Halve and core pears. Heat half the butter in a pan over a medium heat until foamy. Add 3 pear halves and cook until golden. Sprinkle with half the sugar and cook, turning occasionally, until caramelised. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining butter, and the remaining pears and sugar. 
Wipe out fry pan and increase heat to medium high. Add pancetta slices and cook until crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper to drain, and then crumble. 
Place a small amount of caramelised onions in the bottom of each tart shell, top with some crumbled pancetta, two pear halves and some chunks of camembert. 
Lightly beat eggs in a measuring jug, add milk and salt & pepper and whisk to combine then pour into tart tins. 
Bake at 180 C (fan forced) for 18 - 20 minutes or until set and golden. 

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