Recipe

Poached pear and polenta tart

Bring this to your next get-together and you'll never be asked to bring a green salad again.

  • 1 hr 30 mins preparation (plus cooling, refrigeration and standing)
  • Serves 10
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Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (225g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 cup (170g) polenta
  • ½ cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 250 grams butter, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup (25g) flaked almonds
  • 2 teaspoons icing (confectioners') sugar
Poached pears
  • 3 medium pears (700g), peeled, cored
  • ¾ cup (180ml) water
  • ½ cup (175g) honey
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 x5cm strips lemon rind
Custard filling
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
  • ¼ cup (35g) plain flour
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 tablespoon rum

Method

  • 1
    Make poached pears.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, process flour, polenta, sugar and butter until crumbly. Add egg; process until ingredients come together. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 45 minutes.
  • 3
    Grease a 24cm (9½-inch) loose-based flan tin. Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to line tin and about 4mm (¼-inch) thick. Ease pastry into tin, press into base and side; trim edge, reserve trimmings. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Roll reserved trimmings between sheets of baking paper into a 30cm (12-inch) square, place on oven tray; refrigerate.
  • 4
    Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • 5
    Make custard filling.
  • 6
    Place pears in pastry case. Carefully pour in custard filling. Use a pastry cutter or knife to cut 1.5cm (¾-inch) wide strips from remaining pastry. Weave pastry strips to form a lattice on top of tart. Press ends on edge of flan tin to seal; trim edge. Sprinkle top with nuts. Place tart on an oven tray.
  • 7
    Bake tart 45 minutes or until golden. Stand tart in pan 15 minutes. Dust with sifted icing sugar; serve with syrup.
Poached pears
  • 8
    Cut each pear into eight wedges. Place remaining ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to the boil. Add pears; simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until almost tender. Cool in liquid. Drain pears; reserve liquid. Discard thyme and rind. Return reserved liquid to pan; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly.
Custard filling
  • 9
    Whisk ingredients in a large jug.

Notes

Serve with thick (double) cream or vanilla ice-cream.This tart is not suitable to freeze.

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