Liam Charles' recipe for maple pecan pear tart

Liam Charles
·3-min read

It’s getting cold outside and we all feel that bit more justified in eating loads of comfort food. So, start with this tart – a pecan pie paired with maple syrup and sliced pears on top … The only thing that could possibly make it better is an outrageous amount of custard or double cream. The absolute best.

Maple-pear pecan tart

Prep 40 min
Chill 30 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 8

For the pastry
260g plain flour
130g cold butter
, chopped into small pieces
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp icing sugar

For the pears
60g unsalted butter
60g caster sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
4 pears
, peeled, cored and halved

For the filling
100g pecans
100g pecan butter
– I like the Meridian brand
80g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
120g butter
, softened
150g caster sugar
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 egg white

For the topping
40ml maple syrup
Icing sugar

Start on the pastry: tip the flour, butter and cinnamon into a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the egg yolk, icing sugar and two tablespoons of cold water until the pastry just starts to come together.

Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and quickly knead it into a smooth ball. Flatten the pastry in a thick disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

For the pears, put the butter, sugar and syrup in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has turned golden brown. Add the pear halves to the sugar, and cook, turning, until caramelised all over. Set aside.

For the filling, put all the ingredients apart from the pecans into a food processor, blitz until smooth and creamy, then fold in the pecans. Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 and put a baking tray in the oven.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick. Lift the pastry into a fluted, 20-22cm tart tin with a removable base and press it into the corners (you do not need to grease it).

Trim the excess pastry with scissors, leaving an overhang of 1cm. Line with baking paper and baking beans, put on the tray and bake for 18 minutes. Take it out of the oven, remove the paper and beans, and return to the oven for another five to seven minutes. Remove from the oven, then trim the pastry to the height of the tin with a small serrated knife. Turn down the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4.

Spoon the pecan filling on to the base of the tart, spreading to the edges. Press the pear halves cut side down into the filling, so they poke out of it. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the filling comes out clean. While it is still hot, poke small holes in the surface and give the tart a good drizzle of maple syrup.

After 20 minutes of cooling in the tin, transfer the tart to a rack to cool completely. To serve, sprinkle lightly with icing sugar and enjoy with double cream and/or custard.