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a tart and a catch up


If I am honest the days in between are probably my favourites. Christmas is fun – chaotic, booze fuelled and a lot to juggle and I do really love it – but I love a leftover sandwich more. I hope you are all enjoying an elasticated waistband currently. In the run up to Christmas it all got a bit manic at my end so I forgot to tell you about The Kitchen Cafe, which was on the radio on Christmas Eve. Sorry all. If you want to listen to me talking about the big day, post the big day you can still catch up here. I did, however, think I would share the recipe for my dish on the programme with you (despite it no longer being Christmas) as it will still make for a lovely winter pud or Hogmanay dish. I am really enjoying all of us being home with our crap wifi, disastrous weather and general slow pace lifestyle so I haven’t been cooking a huge amount but I will try and get back to you all with some Hogmanay thoughts and a wee look back at whats been a pretty quiet 2015, NOT! Enjoy the leftover chocolates, sherry and day time telly in the mean time.

Also – what I am listening to this month.


For the pastry:

100g cold unsalted butter

150g plain flour

45g cocoa

65g icing sugar

2 tsp cornflour

splash of whole milk

For the filling:

100g cooked and peeled chestnuts (the vacuum packed ones are best)

100g ground almonds

100g softened unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 – 3 large pears

50g dark chocolate chopped roughly

Preheat the oven to 170C. To make the pastry blitz all the in ingredients in a food processor adding the milk at the end to bring the dough together. Alternatively Rub the butter into the flour, cocoa, sugar and cornflour until it all comes together again adding the milk at the end to bind it. Cover and chill for 20 mins at least. During this time make the filling. Grate the cooked chestnuts using your finest grater and add them to a bowl with the almonds, butter and sugar. Mix well until you have a paste like batter then add the eggs baking powder and vanilla. Mix again until smooth. You can add a few tbsp of booze if you want at this stage. Finely slice your pears (skin on). To assemble, roll the chilled pastry out on a floured surface until roughly 3mm thick. Use it to line a 20cm fluted and loose bottomed tart tin. Press thoroughly into the sides then trim off any overhanging pastry. Place the filling into the tart and spread until smooth all over. Fan the pear slices over the top before finishing with the chopped chocolate around the edges. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the chestnuts filling is cooked through (it will not longer be soggy to touch). Enjoy with a big dollop of dairy (or if you have any left over some brandy butter – I won’t tell if you don’t!)


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  • Trevor Hearn - Great Radio programme. Are Asian pears easy to find? Hope you had a great Christmas. Happy New Year to you.ReplyCancel

    • Flora - I got mine from the amazing Roots and Fruits in Glasgow. I think they are pretty seasonal. Conference pears will work just as well though!ReplyCancel

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