Prepare a dish to impress with this pear tarte Tatin recipe from 2014 MasterChef finalist Jack Lucas. Now part of the MasterChef Kitchen Bible, this recipe is complete with candied walnuts with gorgonzola ice cream.
Preparation time: 1 hour, plus chilling time
Cooking time: 50 minutes
For the gorgonzola ice cream:
225ml (8fl oz) milk
150ml (5fl oz) whipping cream
75g (2½ oz) egg yolk
75g (2½) caster sugar
90g (3oz) mild gorgonzola dolce
For the tarte Tatin:
75g (2½ oz) sugar
25g (scant 1oz) unsalted butter
2 very ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
200g (7oz) all-butter puff pastry sheet
For the poached pear:
50g (1¾ oz) granulated sugar
100ml (3½ fl oz) water
5 tsp Poire William liqueur
For the candied walnuts:
50g (1¾ oz) walnut halves
100g (3½ oz) granulated sugar
flavourless vegetable oil, for deep-frying
red amaranth (optional)
1. For the ice cream, put the milk and cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolk and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the milk mixture, whisking constantly, then return to the pan and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Crumble in the gorgonzola and stir until smooth. Cover and chill, then churn in an ice cream machine.
2. To bake the tarte, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Melt the sugar and butter in a saucepan until the mixture becomes dark and caramelized. Add the pears and cook, turning, until softened and coated in the thick caramel. Line 4 x 9cm (3½ in) ramekins with the pears and caramel. Pierce the puff pastry all over with a fork, then cut out 12cm (4½ in) circles and place over the pears. Bake for 20–30 minutes until the pastry is crisp.
3. Meanwhile, make the poached pears. Peel, quarter, and core the pears, place in a sauté pan with the sugar, water, and liqueur and cook until tender. Strain and reserve the liquid. Keep 1 pear for garnish, and purée the other with 1–2 tbsp of the liquid.
4. To make the candied walnuts, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). Lightly toast the nuts in the oven before adding to the reserved pear syrup, adding the 100g (3½ oz) sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil, simmering until the syrup coats the nuts. Drain the nuts. Bring the oil to 180°C (350°F) in a large saucepan or a deep-fat fryer. Add the nuts for just 5 seconds; any longer and they burn to a crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on greaseproof paper.
5. To serve, turn the tartes out onto 4 serving plates. Place a swipe of pear purée on each plate, then add a poached pear quarter and a scoop ice cream on top. Sprinkle with candied walnuts and red amaranth (if using).