The Caterer

Credit-crunch recipe – Pear and almond tart, by Colin Buchan

08 May 2009
Credit-crunch recipe – Pear and almond tart, by Colin Buchan

Are you trying to work out how to offer your customers great meals while keeping costs down? As part of our series aimed at battling the credit crunch via the kitchen, Colin Buchan, head chef of Angela Hartnett's York and Albany, suggests another low-spend recipe.

By Colin Buchan
Food cost per portion: 80p

(Serves 8-10)

  • 1 quantity sweet pastry
  • 8 poached pears, halved, then sliced widthways
  • 200g softened butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 100g plain flour
  • 200g ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Use the pastry to line a 30cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin. Cover the pastry base with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, rice or dried pasta. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and bake for another five minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture looks as though it might curdle, add a spoonful of the flour - this should bring it together again. Sieve together the flour and almonds, then fold into the egg mixture. You can store this almond cream in the fridge until ready to use, but let it return to room temperature first so that it is easily spreadable.

Fill the baked pastry case with the almond cream. Top with the pears, cut-side down, placing them as close to each other as possible.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the pears are a lovely golden colour. Remove and allow to cool a little before removing from the tin. Serve warm or cold.

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