Pear Almond Tart

20160120-222517-80717677.jpgI love any french pastry that includes almond on it. I love macarons, financier, pithivier, any dessert with frangipane and also I can eat almond croissant for breakfast everyday (setting aside the calories). I love the flavours and the texture and everything about it.

Actually, I’ve made this pear almond tart around last october. I’ve been meaning to post it but another dishes comes up and I’ve been keeping this one in my archive.

Now it’s time to share this awesome dessert!

On to the cooking then.

20160124-022050-8450682.jpgFirst thing first is the pastry crust. I’ve made this a couple of time and I’ve explain the how to make the perfect buttery and crispy crust for the tart on my earl grey creme brûlée tartlets recipe.
But here I’ve decided to tweak the recipe a bit.

Start with some cold butter, sugar, salt, milk, egg yolk and flour.

20160124-022141-8501992.jpgCombine the sugar, salt, flour and butter in a bowl.

Now this part is my favourite thing to do in making shortcrust pastry…

20160124-022239-8559631.jpgWhich is rubbing the butter and flour together.
I have no idea why but I love love love to do this.

You need to combine it until it looks roughly like coarse sand.
I like to stop until most of the butter has been incorporated but there’s still some big chunks on it. Just to be sure I did not work the butter too much.. Need to keep it cold to make a great pastry.

20160124-022341-8621486.jpgNow that’s done, put in the yolk and mix them up.

Be sure not to over work it!

No one wants a tough base on their tart. Don’t knead it, so that the gluten doesn’t develop.

20160124-022831-8911661.jpgWrap the dough in some cling film them put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

This process helps to relax the dough, again, in order to not resulting in a tough pastry

20160124-022729-8849371.jpgOnce chilled, roll them into the desired thickness then fit it into a buttered and floured tart pan, prick the bottom of the base with fork to prevent the air being trap and making a bump on the base while baking.

Put it back into the fridge until needed

20160125-132951-48591334.jpgNow on to the poached pear.

The ingredients are super simple. You’ll need pears (of course), sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla.

I would definitely recommend using cinnamon sticks but turns out I’m out of those. For the vanilla I’m using powdered vanilla which works great but if you want to use vanilla pods, it’s up to you, I just felt that it’s kind of a waste since we’re not using the seeds (won’t show anyway in the final product).

20160125-133424-48864309.jpgJust peel and core the pears, cut them in half, throw it into the saucepan with water, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.

Boil it until the pears begin to soften.

20160125-133938-49178093.jpgMeanwhile the pears are cooking, let’s make the almond filling!

The ingredients to make the filling are eggs, almond powder, vanilla extract, rhum, corn flour, sugar and softened butter.

This part couldn’t be any easier, just dump everything in a bowl then whisk them until incorporated.

20160125-135301-49981155.jpgPour the almond filling into the tart case.

Cut the poached pears into quarters and slice them diagonally into thin slices, then arrange them immediately on top of the almond cream.

Got to be honest here, this is the first time I’ve made this pear almond tart in this size, usually I made some in personal sizes but I thought making big ones will look better in photo. Also it’s the first time I’m using this tart pan. So.. As you may notice, the almond filling just fills up half of the pan. I just realise that the tart pan’s side is that high and I end up not having enough almond filling.

Anyway, The recipe below is for the portion of slightly shallower tart pan, you can see the size below.

20160125-144155-52915886.jpgBake the pear almond tart until golden brown and I put some glaze on top of the whole thing, especially on the pears to make it extra shiny.

For the glaze I’m using some mirror glaze. But you can use apricot jam, marmalade or honey mix with a bit of water just to make it easier to apply, but it won’t be as shiny though.

And dust with icing sugar!

20160125-144512-53112546.jpgAnyway, this photo was taken before I got into the real food photography stuff. Before I use any props to enhance the photo. Still the good ‘ol fashion photo of food.

20160125-145600-53760081.jpgLook at how shiny it is! I just wish I’ve got enough fillings to fill it all the way up.

I wouldn’t mind a thick filling of almond cream… Loooooooove almonds in french pastry.

20160125-145804-53884069.jpgI’m sure you want to see the inside of the pear almond tart. Here you go!

I hate how when I watch or read a recipe that seem so good but they don’t show how it look on the inside… Why?! Why are you torturing me?! Let me see the filling!!

But of course, as a fellow food blogger, I kinda know why not.. Some of the possible reasons are either it doesn’t look as good as the outside, or they forgot to take a picture of it, or the pictures are bad so they decided not to post it, or it was meant to be for someone (how can you give someone a cake that has been cut?), probably so much more reasons.

I guess what I’m saying is that I wish to see the inside of the food and don’t like if they don’t show it, but I might do it later in the future (or any previous post) so as a disclaimer I’m just putting it out there.

20160125-205603-75363733.jpgOh yeah, you can see the buttery crispy crust with the sweet vanilla and rhum almond filling and cinnamon poached pear… All comes together to one rustic piece of pie….

20160125-205900-75540046.jpgA piece of pear almond tart for you and the rest is for me.

20160127-101554-36954116.jpgHave a great one everybody!

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Pear Almond tart recipe
Makes 1 tart diameter of 23cm height 2cm

Crust ingredients:
• 200g pastry flour
• 1tsp salt
• 60g sugar
• 75g unsalted butter (cold)
• 1 egg yolk
• 25-30 ml milk (use 25 first, if need more add the rest)

Filling ingredients:
For the poached pears:
• 2 pears
• 80g sugar
• 1 cup water
• 1 cinnamon stick
• ½ tsp vanilla powder/ 1 tsp vanilla extract/ ½ vanilla pod

For the almond cream:
• 100g unsalted butter (room temperature)
• 100g almond powder
• 10g corn flour
• 80g powdered sugar
• 1 egg
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp dark rhum

Decoration:
• to glaze: mirror glace/ apricot jam/ marmalade/ honey (diluted with a bit of water)
• powdered sugar

How to make:
Make the base:
1) Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl then add the cold butter, rub them together until resembles coarse sand. Add the egg yolk and milk, mix just until combined, wrap the dough in cling film, put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2) Butter and flour the tart pan. Roll the chilled dough then fit it into the pan, prick the bottom base with fork then put in the fridge until ready to use.
Poach the pears:
3) Peel and core the pears then cut in half.
4) Combine the sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla then the pears.
5) Boil just until the pears start to soften. Once boiled, let cool to touch.
Make the almond cream:
6) Cream the butter then add the almond, corn flour and sugar, beat until combined and creamy.
7) Add the egg, vanilla and rhum, mix until combined
Assembly:
8) Pour the almond cream into the tart shell.
9) Cut the pear halfs into quarter then slice horizontally into thin slices.
10) Put directly on top of the almond cream, repeat until full circle.
11) Bake at 180°C or 360°F for 30-40 minutes until the almond cream is golden brown.
Finishing:
12) Take out, let cool slightly then brush the top (especially the pears) with the glaze of your choice.
13) Put a plate smaller than the pan in the middle then sift some powdered sugar on the sides.

Salmon Pesto Cream Soup with Bread Bowl

20160111-140138-50498883.jpgFirst thing first, Happy new year everybody!!! This is the first post of 2016.

Although this is not a festive new years theme food, but why not (still) celebrate the new year?

Anyway, this food is more rustic and comforting since it’s still the winter time (or rainy season in my case). A great winter warmer meal that’s great eaten in the cold days.

This soup is actually a last minutes dump everything I got kinda soup since i’ve made the bread bowl but haven’t decided what will goes inside, and once I opened my fridge, turns out i don’t have that much of a food supply.
And yes, this post is mostly about making the bread bowl from scratch.

Let’s get started on the bread bowl, shall we?

20160112-210252-75772675.jpgFirst, dump all the dry ingredients which are flour, yeast, sugar, salt and wheat in a working surface then mix it together until all has combined.

Well of course you can mix it in a bowl but I just feel like making this in the counter is easier.

20160112-210342-75822456.jpgNext, make a well in the middle and pour in the warm water, butter and egg, mix until all incorporated.

Now I am making a wholewheat bread bowl, but if you want, you can just omit the wheat bran to make regular white bread bowl.

20160112-210417-75857356.jpgKnead the dough until the gluten developed, you can tell by when it’s no longer sticky, and when you poked the dough, it will spring back.

20160112-210450-75890196.jpgNow it’s time to let the yeast do their work! Let it rest for about 1 hour in room temperature or 30 minutes in a warm oven at about 70°C.

20160112-210536-75936751.jpgSplit the dough into the desired size.

I just weigh them in total then split it into two.

Put on a baking tray lined with parchment paper then let it rest for 10 more minutes in warm place until it rise again.

20160112-210946-76186170.jpgOnce risen, bake in the oven.

This is the most important part! Spray water all over the bread after 10 minutes of baking. This form a crusty crust that makes a good barrier so that the soup won’t leak, also makes it better because it’s crispy!

20160112-221717-80237969.jpgNow on to the soup.
As I’ve said before, I don’t really have the step by step pictures of how to make the soup because this post is more about the bread bowl, well actually also because I made a base soup then decided to add something more and went scavenging on my fridge and totally forgot to take pictures if it.

Anyway, to make the soup, cut the onion and zucchini into little dices.

20160114-191050-69050584.jpgNext, sauté them butter, then add the flour. This will thicken the soup later.

Cook until the flour has dissapear

20160114-191214-69134723.jpgAdd in milk bit by bit. If you put it all at once, it might make the soup goes lumpy because the roux (the butter and flour mixture) haven’t completely absorbed the milk.

Next thing is to add the pesto.
I made my own pesto because I have a basil tree on my garden, and every time as it has grown too high that it started to bend, I just make it into pesto! Maybe I’ll post the recipe sometimes in the future.

Then, put the salmon pieces in. It will take a little time to cook so just cook it for an additional 3 minutes.

20160114-191346-69226466.jpgCut the top of the bread,hallow out the inside to make the bowl, then pour in the hot soup straight into the bread bowl!

You got yourself a great winter warmer soup!

20160114-191555-69355195.jpgDon’t throw away the bread insides. You can use it for coutons, bread pudding, bread crumbs, stuffings and many more really.

20160114-192127-69687516.jpgAhh.. What’s a better way to go through a cold winter day with a bowl of warm soup. Seriously, I think soups are my most preferred dish.

Maybe my favourite.. But I don’t like to say that a particular food is my favourite because, how can you have a favourite?!? Food is love, and love does not choose…

Okay I’m talking gibberish right now. Sorry.

20160114-192357-69837581.jpgAnyway, I hope 2016 is a bigger and better year.

I haven’t made my new year resolution. Don’t think I’m gonna this year. Because I know me (and most probably every person that make resolutions), I’ll be super optimist and write every resolutions that comes in mind not thinking about wether it’s achievable or not, then completely forget about it 2 weeks later.

20160114-192446-69886660.jpgOne thing that I hope that I can do this year is make a youtube account of the video step by steps from this blog.
Well for me, it is easier and more fun to learn something from watching the step by steps. That’s why I can binge watch youtube for a good amount of time.
I don’t have the camera yet so I guess it has to wait. And in case you’re wondering, I still take pictures of this blog with my phone.

20160114-192555-69955176.jpgHave a good one everybody!

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Salmon Pesto Cream Soup with Bread Bowl
Make 2 servings

Bread Bowl Ingredients:
• 300 g bread flour
• 6 g instant yeast
• 30 g sugar
• 1 tsp salt
• 30 g wheat bran
• 150 ml warm water (around body temperature/36°C)
• 1 small egg
• 45 g unsalted butter

Salmon Pesto Soup ingredients:
The ingredients that I didn’t put any measurements on is adjustable to your liking
• 30 g butter
• Onion
• Zucchini
• 30 g plain flour
• 600 ml milk
• 50 ml cream
• Pesto
• Salmon pieces

How to make:
1) To make the bread bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt and wheat bran in a bowl or counter. Make a well in the center.
2) Put warm water, egg and unsalted butter in the well then mix everything until combined.
Start beating (if using a mixer with a dough hook) or kneading (if done manually) until the gluten in the dough is developed, you can tell by the look of the dough that it’s soft and smooth, no longer sticky and when you pressed the dough with you thumb, the dough will spring back.
3) Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a damped tablecloth then rest it on a warm counter for an hour or in a warm oven (temperature of 70°C or 158°F) for 30 minutes.
4) Once proofed, punch the dough to inflate then weigh the whole dough (mine was 628 g), cut into 2 pieces (314g each) then shape it into a ball.
Put them on a lined baking tray, and let it proof for another 10 minutes in room temperature.
5) Bake them in a preheated oven at 100°C or 212°F for 10 minutes, spray the whole bread with water then bake them some more at 180°C or 360°F for another 30 minutes.
6) Once baked, let cool, cut off the top part then hallow out the inside of the bread.
7) To make the soup, cut the onion and zucchini into dices.
8) Sauté the cut veggies with some butter until slightly cooked then add in the flour, cook until the flour has gone.
9) Pour in the milk little by little adding more once the milk has all absorbed by the roux (butter and flour mixture), once all the milk has been incorporated, add in the cream, keep stirring until thickens.
10) Add the pesto then the salmon, cook for about 3 more minutes.
11) Pour the hot soup into the bread bowls then serve!