Poached Pear and Chocolate Custard Tart
I was so excited to be baking this chocolate and pear tart today! It's actually a little something that I put together about a year ago, but I just couldn't get a decent photo of it due to my trailing a new 'no melt icing sugar' on it that went on waay too fine and just ruined the fun for everybody. It tasted great! Just looked a little lacklustre, so I didn't end up sharing the recipe with you guys! But, finally, I've gotten around to the re-bake and I am super stocked with the results, of which were achieved using regular old icing sugar. Don't fix what ain't broke.
Anyway onto the recipe! It’s a chocolate pie crust turned baked chocolate custard tart with beautiful poached pears. It says it all right there in the name! I’ll be honest, I was sceptical of the combo of chocolate and pear at first, but apparently it’s a classic, and the more I thought about it, the more I saw the possibilities! Though, it seemed that every food blogger and their mum had a pear and chocolate recipe in their recipe cache, majority of them were in cake form, so we saw an opportunity to do this whole pear and chocolate thing a little differently. So using my all time favourite bakery treat, the good old baked custard tart, as inspiration, we’ve created our very own pear and chocolate recipe, because it seems that every baking blogger needs one! A baked chocolate custard tart with cinnamon and vanilla poached pears. #winning
MY TOP TIPS FOR MASTERING THIS BAKE
#1 Your pastry can be a little temperamental depending on the temperature on the day of your bake. On a hot day, your butter will melt into the mixture more meaning you'll need less poaching liquid, and on a cold day it'll stay a little more solid meaning you'll require a little more. So to ensure you nail the consistency, start with 1 tbsp of poaching liquid, if your dough doesn't form a ball in the processor (stays crumbly) add 1 more tbsp and continue until your dough comes together nicely *you shouldn't need more than 3tbsp).
#2 Be very gentle when whisking your chocolate custard mixture on the stove-top, we want to minimise the amount of air in our custard mixture to avoid bubbles in the finished product. This is also why we recommend passing the custard through a sieve before pouring it into your tart, well, that and to remove any chunky bits of cocoa powder.
#3 While we're on the custard! Don't walk away while your custard is on the heat. You want it to heat up enough to ensure that the sugar melts, but not enough that the mixture boils, so keep a close eye on it. Allowing your custard to boil will cause it to thicken and you don't want to be mucking around trying to spread thick custard around your pears, the results will just be messy!
#4 When pouring your custard into your base, try your best to avoid dripping any custard onto your pears. It's not the end of the world if you do, but the results will be prettier if it's avoided.