My oven is my best friend.
Ok, that sounds very sad, I do have friends, don’t worry. And it’s not like I’m telling my oven how my day at the office was.
But still, in the kitchen, the oven is my best friend. Who else will do all the cooking for you while you give your feet a rest on the couch?
So, I worship my oven. I’m extremely happy to have a big one with plenty of options in both my kitchens (that sounds so spoiled, but remember, there’s a weekly 500 km commute involved too!). I don’t know what I’d do if the oven broke down, I seriously use it practically every single day. I guess I’d be running to the nearest store the next day, buy a new one and beg the people who work there to install it for me that same day.
Even more, to minimize time without my precious friend, I’d even be willing to try installing the new oven myself. And trust me, if you knew me in person, you’d know what a ridiculous idea that would be ;-)
So when my friend Joann (if you’re on Instagram, you should definitely follow her, she makes the prettiest pictures) and I got together for some weekend baking, we made sure to make good use of her (brand new) oven. This chocolate ganache pie with poached pears and chocolate ganache was an experiment, but I’d say we totally nailed it.
It looks pretty impressive, but looks can be so deceiving: it isn’t difficult at all to prepare. We’re keeping things simple by using a good store-bought dough, making a quick ganache with cream and chocolate and poaching pears in vanilla and Di Saronno almond liqueur (and you could totally have a glass of it while waiting for the oven. Not saying you should. But you definitely could ;-). We sprinkled some roasted almonds on top, and that was it!
So, without further ado, I present you our impressive chocolate ganache tarte with poached pears.
- 1 roll good quality ready-to-use shortcrust pastry (we've used the extra thick variant)
- 10 small pears, peeled
- 100 ml (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp) Di Saronno (amaretto liqueur)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, sliced open
- 250 ml (1 cup) creme fraîche, at room temperature (do not use the skimmed version, this will curdle easily)
- 250 gr (8.8 oz) good quality dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp almond flakes
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 356 F
- Line a round pie form with the shortcrust pastry
- Use a fork to prick the base of the tarte, to prevent it from rising and uneven baking because of steam
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden, take out and set aside
- Heat the liqueur, with an equal amount of water, in a pan
- Add the sugar and the vanilla pod, and whisk until all sugar has dissolved
- Add the pears and poach them on low heat until soft (depending on how ripe your pears are, this may take between 15-30 minutes. Turn often to ensure even poaching)
- Heat the creme fraîche in a pan with a thick bottom and add the chocolate (use low/medium heat)
- Whisk until all of the chocolate has melted and you have an even mixture. It should have the consistency of a thick glazing.
- If your ganache is too thin, add a bit of chocolate, if too thick, add a bit of creme fraîche.
- Place in your fridge so it can set
- Toast the almond flakes in a dry pan on medium heat
- Pour/scoop the ganache in the tarte
- Slice the pears into quarters and divide over the tarte
- Sprinkle with almond flakes