Mini Pear Pies… By Lucy Simmons

By lucy  , , , , , ,   ,

September 17, 2014

A new week of the British bake off with a new technical challenge This week the theme was pies and the technical challenge was Mini pear pies. The lovely soft poached pears work well with crispy flakey pastry.....delicious

  • Prep: 40 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yields: 6 Generous

Ingredients

200 Grams Plain flour

100 Grams Butter in a block

100 Grams Lard in a block

1 Medium Egg, beaten

2 tbsp Granulated sugar

6 Medium Firm pears

300 Grams Caster sugar

500 ml Dry white wine

1 Medium Cinnamon stick

1 Medium Orange, zest only

Directions

.    For the rough puff pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and put the cubes of butter and lard into the flour. Use a knife to coat the butter and lard in the flour. Add 120-150ml cold water and mix until it comes together to form a firm dough. .    Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface to a rectangle. Fold the top third down and then fold the bottom third up and over. Turn it 90 degrees (a quarter turn) and repeat the rolling and folding. Set aside, covered, in the fridge for 20 minutes.   Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling twice more so you have a total of four folds and turns. Set aside, wrapped in cling film, put in the fridge until ready to use. Meanwhile for the poached pears, peel the pears keeping the stems intact. Tip the caster sugar into a large saucepan with 400ml water, the white wine, cinnamon and orange zest and slowly bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for three minutes. Add the pears to the pan. Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes (depending on how firm the pears are). Reserving the syrup, remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool on kitchen paper. Using a melon baller or small teaspoon remove the core from the pears. Return the syrup to the heat and boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half and the syrup is thick. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When the fruit and syrup are cool, roll out the chilled pastry to a rectangle measuring 60x20cm and a thickness of no more than 5mm. Using a sharp knife and a ruler cut the pastry into long strips 8mm wide. You will need about 18-20 strips. Brush the pears with the cooled sugar syrup and starting from the bottom, wrap the pastry strips around the pears. When you come to the end of the pastry strip, brush the end lightly with syrup and press to link to the next pastry strip. Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear. Tuck the end of the last pastry piece behind the previous dough spiral. Cut out six leaf shapes from the remaining pastry. Draw veins on the leaves with a sharp knife and stick one leaf below the stem of each pastry pear with a little sugar syrup. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C(Fan). Place the pastry covered pears on a baking tray. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes and serve with a drizzle of the reduced sugar syrup and custard. Enjoy.

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