Stacie Stewart's Mulled Wine Pear Cake with Cinnamon Pastry

Method

Stacie says: "The first time I made this was with regular sweet short crust party. It was good but the addition of cinnamon warms the whole dish, making it a perfect dinner party dessert through the winter - especially Christmas. The base is mulled wine so it really is the ultimate Christmas tart. A dollop of clotted cream sets this off beautifully. If you blind bake your pastry shell in advance this is a really quick dish, ten minutes of prep and half hour or so in the oven."

 

Method

Pulse or rub the cold butter into the flour, sugar, almonds and cinnamon Add a pinch of salt and bind with the egg using a little cold water if it doesn't come together completely.

Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

Once chilled roll out into 10 inch circle and line an 8 inch tin. 

Blind bake, trim off excess and you're ready to start your tart.

Start with the pears, peel them and place them in a pan with the rest of the poaching ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer uncovered until the pears are tender, usually around 20 minutes, you might need to turn the pears every not and again if they aren’t submersed.

Remove the pears and boil the liquid to reduce until syrupy and thickened, reserve for later.

Half the pears and scoop out the middle tough part, a melon baller is perfect. Snip off the stems too.

For your filling melt the butter and continue to cook it until it’s a light brown and smells a little nutty.

In another bowl whisk the sugar, eggs, yolk and almonds. Whisk it for a good few minutes you want the mix to be light and mousse-like.

After you have achieved this pour in the cooled melted butter slowly whisking as you go, this addition of butter gives a wonderful richness to the sponge.

Pour the mix into the blind baked tart shell and top with the pears cut side down. Bake for 25 minutes on 180 (gas mark 4). The almond sponge should be firm to the touch and golden.

When serving drizzle with some of the reserved syrup which will intensify the flavour of the tart.

 

 

Ingredients

Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 5

  • For the pastry:

  • 112g plain flour

  • 55g butter

  • 40g sugar

  • 1tsp cinnamon

  • 25g ground almonds

  • 1 egg

  • For the filling:

  • 80g butter

  • 80g caster sugar

  • 80g ground almonds

  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

  • For the pears:

  • 3 ripe dessert pears (not too ripe, you don't want them to turn to mush)

  • 300ml red wine

  • 50g golden syrup

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 1 star anise

  • 1 vanilla pod, split with the seeds scraped out

  • 2 cloves

  • Zest of 1 clementine or small orange