Salty chocolate-enriched caramel, roasted pear, crisp pastry and walnuts fuse into something completely delicious.
PREP 25 minutes
COOK 1 hour 5 minutes
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
6 conference pears (or other small pears), about 100g each
Lemon juice, for squeezing
70g unsalted butter, chopped
70g caster sugar
70g runny honey
1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
50g walnut pieces
50g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), chopped
Whipped cream, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut a 23cm disc from the pastry sheet, prick all over with a fork and chill.
- Peel and halve the pears, then carefully remove the cores with a teaspoon: you want perfect halves if possible. Transfer to a bowl and toss with a little lemon juice as you go to prevent browning.
- Melt the butter in a 20cm ovenproof frying pan. Sprinkle over the sugar and cook for 2 minutes until it begins to dissolve, then stir in the honey and salt.
- Arrange all but one of the pear halves, cut-side up, in the pan with the narrowest end pointing to the centre – you want them to fit snugly as they will shrink slightly during cooking. If there is a space left right in the centre, cut a round from the remaining pear half and place it, cut-side up, in the space.
- Cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes: the butter and sugar mixture should energetically bubble away then reduce down to a thick, syrupy amber-coloured caramel. Shake the pan frequently, and now and then spoon some caramel over the pears.
- Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle over the walnuts and chocolate, filling in any gaps between the pears with the nuts. Cover with the pastry disc and tuck the edges into the sides of the pan with a spoon.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Set aside for 5 minutes then carefully invert on to a plate. Serve immediately with whipped cream.
Now buy the book!
Our recipes are from Cocoa: An Exploration of Chocolate, With Recipes by Sue Quinn, which is published by Quadrille, price £25. To order a copy for £22 until 28 February, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free p&p on orders over £15.