Chocolate and pear tarts, compulsive behaviour and chainsaws

This will be the last pear/chocolate recipe for a while, I promise. I appear (!) to have become slightly obsessed with this heavenly combination, but that’s still no excuse for being a bore. Talking of bores, I’ve been having wild cow-related issues this week. We’ve had a lot of very strong gales which, if you live here, translates into the need to travel everywhere with a chainsaw (pine trees are quite vulnerable and fall easily in high winds). Personally, I never go anywhere without mine – you just never know when it’s going to come in handy. Which brings me back to wild cows; I have spotted several within uncomfortably close range recently. When I reported my ‘sightings’ to the local Mairie, the information was met with a definite ‘course you did, dearie’ sort of look, which I thought was a bit audacious, especially in view of the contents of my car boot 😉
The pastry for this tart is wheat-free, but not entirely gluten-free, spelt containing a small amount.
Ingredients for pastry (serves 6-8):
150g buckwheat flour
70g spelt flour
50g butter
50g virgin coconut oil
Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water
Ingredients for filling:
40g dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa)
1 tablespoon rum
15ml cream
1 large pear
3 tablespoons watermelon, pear, apple or ginger jam
To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flour in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tins. Precook the pastry for 12 minutes.
Melt the chocolate with the rum. Once melted, add the cream and mix to form a smooth sauce. Line the base of each tart with the chocolate. Peel the pear and cut into thin slices. Cover the chocolate base with the pears, overlapping them to cover well. Cover the top with a thin layer of jam and then cook for about 15 minutes. Delicious hot or cold.


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