8-10 small pears, peeled, halved and cores removed
450 grams sugar
4 cups water
4 long strips of lemon peel
50 grams toasted walnuts
200 grams flour pinch of salt
70 grams icing sugar
175 grams chilled diced butter
2 medium (#6) egg yolks
125 grams butter – room temperature
125 grams castor sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium (#6) eggs
125 grams toasted ground walnuts
3 tablespoons flour
Pears: Place the sugar, water and lemon in a medium pot and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Peel, halve and core the pears and add to the syrup. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes or until just tender. Remove from the syrup and drain on paper towels.
Pastry: Preheat the oven to 180oC with an oven tray inside.
Place the walnuts, flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and blend together. Add the butter and pulse to form coarse bread crumbs.
Add the egg yolks and process until the pastry just starts to come together.
Tip into a 30cm loose based tart tin and press it evenly into the sides and base.
Chill in the fridge/freezer until firm. Line the tart with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake, on the preheated oven tray, for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and allow to cool.
Filling: Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, mixing well. Combine the ground nuts and the flour and fold in.
To finish: Spread the walnut filling over the tart and place the pears, cut side down, on top.
Bake, (no fan), for 45-55 minutes or until firm and golden. Cover loosely with foil if the pastry is browning too quickly.
Glaze the pears with sieved hot apricot jam if desired. Serve at room temperature or just warm with softly whipped cream. Serves 8-10