I have a confession to make: I have become a lover of what i once called 'shmancy pants' desserts. I suddenly crave the idea of a 'elegant' cake, a 'sophisticated' tart, a certain 'lightness', a 'fragility'. Whilst I do cringe at this onset of culinary pretentiousness, I must admit to being secretly rather pleased with myself. Pleased to be evolving with my desserts, and to be challenging myself to make more than just a damn good raw chocolate cake. Damn good as it may be.
This tart is beautiful. The pears are poached in white wine and doused in spices. The crust is an almond flour and butter crust- simple and rich. The custard is a gooey, caramelly, gingery mouthful of happiness. But actually. This was my first experience with custard or creme anglaise if you please, and it was a feverish process of whisking egg yolks and honey fervently over the stove, conjuring images of a potential honeyed omelet if I stopped my crazed stirring. All ended well, no omelets were created, I am an official custard creator. It was delicious.
Poached Pear and Chai Custard Tart (Adapted from Roost)
- 3 cups almond flour (I used Bob's Mill, but I'd recommend pulsing your own)
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 tsp water
- a couple drops vanilla extract
Use your hands to knead the dough together, and then work into a greased tart or pie tin. Bake at 170 C until golden brown and delicious.
- 1 bottle cheap white wine (some say dry, some say sweet, I say cheap because I am a student, and I couldn't care less)
- 4 pears, peeled, halved and de-stemmed
- 1 cup water
- 2 vanilla pods
Bring the water, honey and vanilla to a boil. Add in the pears. Cook until soft, and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Smell. Drool a little.
Chai Spiced Custard
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup coconut oil
- large amounts of every chai spice you have (I have cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove, I threw them all in until it was to my taste)
- 6 egg yolks (save the whites for meringues, or mix them with some desiccated coconut and honey for coconut macaroons, yum!)
- a splash (can you tell that I don't like to measure?) of vanilla extract
Place the water and honey in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add in the coconut oil and the spices, and stir like a crazy person. Turn off heat, and allow to cool for fifteen minutes (I was paranoid, so I kept stirring through this, you probably don't need to). Once cooled, turn the heat back on, add in the egg yolks and continue to stir like a crazy person (took me about 20 minutes) until the custard coats the back of your wooden spoon and your finger can leave a streak across it. Be careful not to overcook!
Pour the custard into the pie crusts, top with pears, sprinkle some cinnamon on top and serve. Watch people sigh and moan with happiness. Yep
You can also refrigerate for up to 48 hours. After that, I am not promising anything.