The approach of autumn means the approach of pears.
And any time is a good time for gorgonzola.
The medley of tastes in this tart – the sweetness of the pears, the bite of the gorgonzola, the tang of the sour cream and the earthiness of the walnuts – come together in a simply amazing flavour bomb! Yum!
Serves 8 as an appetiser or 4 as a main with salad
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 2 x 15 minutes
Note: Non-mushy pear is called for – you want a variety with a firm flesh, e.g. Concorde.
1 sheet puff pastry, approx. 42 x 26cm (17 x 10″) (thawed, if frozen)
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water for egg wash
50g (1/2 cup) walnuts, broken
200g (7oz) gorgonzola
1 small-medium ripe pear
60g (4 Tbsp) sour cream
pinch sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
To blind bake the puff pastry, place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet and prick it all over with a fork, lightly score a 2.5cm (1″) border around the edge of the pastry and fold it over so you have a double-thickness border all the way round. Cover the whole thing with another sheet of parchment and spread a layer of dried beans or rice over the centre part of the pastry sheet inside the border. Bake in centre of oven for 10 minutes, remove from oven and remove the top parchment with the beans/rice. Brush the centre part of the pastry inside the border with egg wash and return to oven for a further 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant.
Set the pastry aside to cool a little and allow the centre of the pastry to collapse if it has puffed up too much (use a spatula if you need to help it collapse down).
Use your fingers to dollop little pieces of the gorgonzola all over the pastry, inside the border.
Halve, core and slice the pear lengthwise, about 3mm (1/8″) thick, and arrange over the cheese.
Use a small teaspoon to spread the the sour cream over the pears, then sprinkle with the toasted walnuts and a little black pepper and sea salt.
Brush the border with the remaining egg wash.
Bake in centre of oven for 15 minutes, until the border of the pastry is deep golden brown and the filling is melty and lightly browned.