Picture the scene – a cold, rainy, wintery Sunday in the East End of London. A boyfriend sat cold and miserable in the flat. And me, sat on the sofa in my PJs flicking absentmindedly through a magazine. But then, out of the corner of my eye, I spy a Waitrose recipe card that’s been sat on the coffee table for a while. And as soon as I see that, I KNOW I have to make it! Rustic Pear and Bramley Apple Tart – it became an obsession and what a lovely way to finish the weekend! So, having sent the boyfriend out to do the weekly shop (not sure how I managed that!), I plodded over to the kitchen!
This recipe is one of the most simple pastry dishes I’ve ever made, and it is definitely going to become a staple ‘go to’ Autumn/Winter dessert. The end result is definitely Rustic, as mentioned in the title. But all the better for it! An open topped pie with a light, crumbly, hazelnutty pastry, filled with the classic combo of apples, pears, cinnamon, sugar and sultanas. No faff with making pastry lids, just fold up the sides of the pastry to form a buffer against the fruit falling out. Bosh!
KB rating 8.5/10 PR rating 8.5/10
Rustic Pear and Bramley Apple Tart (serves 8)
- 50g hazelnuts
- 225g plain flour
- 140g butter, chilled and diced
- 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 pears, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced
- 2 Bramley apples, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced
- 50g sultanas (I ended up using more)
- 60g light brown soft sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or clear honey
Place the nuts in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add the flour, butter and caster sugar and whizz until all the butter is blended well. Add the egg and whizz again to form a firm dough – if the mixture seems dry add 1 tbsp of chilled water. Shape into a ball and chill for at least 10 mins (I reckon 30 mins minimum otherwise it’s hard to roll out).
Preheat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4). In a large bowl, toss together the pears, apples, sultanas, brown sugar, cinnamon and cornflour.
Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to a circle about 35cm diameter. Transfer to a baking tray (I cheated, and rolled out the dough on the baking parchment as it was very crumbly and I was nervous about the transfer)!
Spoon the fruit mixture onto the centre of the pastry, leaving a 4cm border all the way around. You can pile quite high (though I still had a bit of filling that didn’t fit into the pastry disc). Fold up the edges to form sides, and then brush the pastry with milk.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is tender and very juicy. Drizzle with the maple syrup or honey. Slice and serve warm (or at room temperature) with clotted cream or custard.
Get under a blanket, grab a brew and settle back on the sofa!