A SPECIAL GUEST POST
I sure feel happy and honoured to receive yet another guest post. This time it’s from none other than my dear blogger friend Dr Jehanne who blogs at the cooking doctor. Check out her link here
Dr Jehanne is currrently working abroad. Despite her busy work schedules, performing surgeries and very often on stand by for hospital calls, Dr Jehanne still find time to always prepare home cook food for her family. She has a very cute and trendy little girl.
The last time we had a chat, her husband just came back from work and her pies and puffs just came out very well done from the oven, ready to be served for dinner. She being a doctor, i remembered asking her for a health tip and she replied “ Eat home cook food with no additives is the healthy way.” I am not a health freak, but i put reasonable efforts to keep a healthy lifestyle. Thanks doc for your tip, a great reminder for me...
I also wish to congratulate Dr Jehanne for “the cooking doctor” turns 1 last May and she celebrated her milestone, with her article being featured in BBC Good Food Asia magazine . She came up with Fraisier using dragon fruit- a Flamboyant beauty.. (see dragon fruit image at my sidebar)
I feel honoured and very pleased and i thank you very much Dr Jehanne for finding time in your super hectic schedule, to do this guest post for me- the awesome “Flaked almond and pear tart recipe”- another flamboyant beauty. Here, a bouquet specially for you dear. Let’s hear it from her.
I have known Ms Wan Maznah for sometime now, almost during the early days of my blogging last year. Hailed from the same country as me, and with a superb blog, Cooking Varieties which focuses on healthy lifestyle, it is no wonder that we click instantly, all the while sharing messages and comments on each others' posts. I was elated when the topic of guest posting came up, and I am more than happy to contribute to Wan's lovely blog. I wanted something special and befitting the Cooking Varieties, something healthy yet entertaining enough for her varied readers.
So I came up with an afternoon tea idea. Something moreish, indulgent yet healthy too. Packed with flavours and pretty on the eye. Ideal for parties, yet beautiful on its own for a solo treat.
Now I might be biased, but I love tarts. I love pears and certainly almond too. I try to incorporate fruits into our daily lives, not purely for health reason but we as a family genuinely love fruits. Although we seldom get good peckham pears, every time I see the good ones in the market, they always end up in our household soon after-straight to the mouth or a notch higher as dessert, or poached in light syrup.
Apart from the daily five, pear is also known for its anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties to combat cancer, and also prevent hypertension, stroke and lowers the cholesterol level. As pear contains high amount of fibre, it is also naturally good source as mild laxative and also preventive of colon cancer.
Good news for moms out there: Pear is one of the fruits with lower risk of allergic reactions so it is ideal to be introduced as first solid food for babies, mostly in puree form or juice.
For this recipe, I combined almonds into the flour for the pastry as well as flakes in the filling. Almonds are truly a baker's dream as it is universally delicious for pastries and cakes alike. But more so than that, with its rich source of vitamin E and amino acids, almonds should be incorporated into the diet more often, especially as its monounsaturated fat can lower the HDl (bad) choleserol.
Before I go on my rant, let's get on to the recipe. Little morsels of delight that would make you forget all the above facts as their beauty brings in the Parisienne patisserie charm with it. Adorn your favourite tiered plates with the tarts, put the kettle on and invite those guests in. For they are in for a little treat.
FLAKED ALMOND AND PEAR TART- perfect for afternoon tea
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
7 tbsp unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
2 tsp cold water
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp almond oil or extract(optional)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 ripe Peckham pears-peeled and julienned
12 cup almond flakes
1. Prepare the shortcrust pastry. You can use several tartlette moulds like I did here, or a large 20 cm flat tart pan.
2. In a food processor, combine almond flour, plain flour and salt. Diced in the cold butter into the flours and whizz until crumbs are formed. Alternatively you can also use tip of your fingers.
3. Add in the egg yolk and just enough water to form a dough. The dough will not stick to the mixer bowl.
4. Form a disk and chill in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
5. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Hand whisk the almond flour, sugar, egg, almond oil, butter and plain flour together until cream is formed.
6. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to around 2 cm thick circle and fill the moulds of your choice.
7. Blind bake the pastry cases by piercing the dough and fill the tartlette with ceramic baking beans (or cooking beans) so the dough does not puff up whilst baking.
8. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 180C.
9. Remove the half-baked tartlettes from the oven. Spoon in the almond cream on the base and garnish with julienned pears and almond flakes.
10. Lower the oven temperature to 170C and bake for another 15-20 minutes until top is golden brown.
11. Serve warm with dollop of creme fraiche, plain Greek yogurt or vanilla ice-cream, or just as it is.