Hazelnut and brown butter tart with caramelised pear and vanilla buttermilk ice cream

4, with extra tart and ice cream leftover
2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 200g of unsalted butter
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 330g of plain flour
  • 25g of cornflour
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 free-range egg

Ice cream

  • 500ml of double cream
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 275g of caster sugar
  • 500ml of buttermilk
  • 3 vanilla pods, ideally Bourbon vanilla

Tart filling

  • 125g of hazelnuts
  • 350g of unsalted butter
  • 360g of caster sugar
  • 125g of ground almonds
  • 45g of plain flour
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 12 egg whites

Pears

  • 2 pears, Comice or Conference variety, ripe and soft
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 40g of unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch of sea salt

Frosted hazelnuts

  • 15g of blanched hazelnuts
  • 15g of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of water

Method

1
Begin by making the ice cream, as this can be done well in advance and kept in the freezer until needed. Place a medium-sized pan over a medium heat and add the cream, gently warming until hot, but do not allow to boil. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a separate bowl until well combined
  • 500ml of double cream
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 275g of caster sugar
2
Split the vanilla pods lengthways, scrape out the seeds, add to the milk (reserve the pods themselves for another use, such as flavouring sugar) then remove from the heat. Pour around a third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking to combine, then gradually pour the egg mixture back into the milk and whisk together. Return to a low heat, whisking continuously, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (around 5-10 minutes)
  • 3 vanilla pods, ideally Bourbon vanilla
3
Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a clean bowl set over ice and allow to cool completely. Once cool, stir in the buttermilk and pass through a fine sieve into an ice cream machine. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then place in the freezer until ready to serve (you may want to remove the ice cream for 5 minutes before serving to allow it to soften)
  • 500ml of buttermilk
4
To make the pastry, place the butter, sugar, flour, cornflour and salt into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Gently mix until just combined, then add the egg and mix again until a dough forms. Flatten into a disc, wrap in parchment paper and place in the fridge to chill completely
  • 200g of unsalted butter
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 330g of plain flour
  • 25g of cornflour
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 free-range egg
5
While the pastry chills, preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Place the hazelnuts for the filling on a baking tray and roast for around 10-15 minutes, shaking from time to time, until they turn a deep golden brown. Set aside to cool
  • 125g of hazelnuts
6
For the frosted hazelnuts, place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cook until a syrup forms and it reaches a temperature of 121°C, then remove from the heat and add the nuts to the pan. Stir continuously until the syrup cools and begins to coat the nuts with a white frosting. Tip the nuts out onto a plate and leave to cool completely. Once cool, blitz or crush into a rough powder
  • 15g of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 15g of blanched hazelnuts
7
By now the pastry should be well-rested, so unwrap it and roll it out. Use it to line a 20cm tart ring, then place back into the fridge to chill once again
8
For the filling, blitz the cooled roasted hazelnuts in a food processor to a fine powder (be careful not to overprocess as it may begin to form a nut butter). Place the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat and allow to melt completely. Continue to cook the butter over a higher heat until it turns a nutty golden brown, then remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Leave to cool
  • 350g of unsalted butter
9
While the brown butter cools, combine the sugar, ground almonds, ground hazelnuts, salt and plain flour in a separate bowl. Add the egg whites and stir until incorporated. Weigh out 250g of the cooled brown butter, then add this to the mixture, stirring well to ensure no lumps remain. Cover and chill in the fridge
  • 360g of caster sugar
  • 125g of ground almonds
  • 45g of plain flour
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 12 egg whites
10
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Line the chilled pastry case with baking paper, then fill with baking beans (you could also use dry rice if you don’t have baking beans to hand). Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a light golden colour is achieved, then remove the beans and paper. Pour the filling into the tart, smoothing the top if needed, then bake for another 15 minutes
11
Turn the tart 180° (this ensures an even bake) and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes, until set and deep golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool
12
While the tart cools, it’s time to prepare the pears. Place a saucepan over a medium heat and peel the pears. Halve them lengthways, then carefully remove the cores and pips with a dessert spoon or melon baller. Add the sugar to the hot pan and continuously swirl until it melts and turns a deep golden colour
  • 2 pears, Comice or Conference variety, ripe and soft
  • 200g of caster sugar
13
Carefully add the pears to the caramel and stir for a minute to ensure they’re well coated. Add the butter and salt, reduce the heat to low and cook for roughly 5 minutes, until the pears are tender, stirring occasionally. Once the pears are soft, remove from the heat and set aside
  • 40g of unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
14
You now have all the elements ready to plate the dish. To serve, cut the tart in half and then each half into 3 equal pieces – you’ll only need 4 pieces to serve so the 2 leftover can be saved for another day. You can trim the tart slices into neat rectangles as shown in the image above, if desired
15
Place a tart slice on each plate, with a caramelised pear half alongside. Add a little more caramel sauce to the pears, then place a small bed of the crushed frosted hazelnuts next to them. Place a scoop of ice cream on top of the hazelnuts, then finish with more frosted hazelnuts on the tart