Poached Pears in Red Wine and Pistachio Tart with Chocolate Sauce

Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves: 8

6-8 pears, peeled, halved and cored
1 bottle red wine
1 ½ c caster sugar
1 red chilli
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
2 star anise
1 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
Zest and juice of an orange

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar
150 grams butter
2 tablespoons dutch cocoa
1 Woodland free range egg yolk

200 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
125 grams butter
¾ cup sugar
3 Woodland free range eggs
½ cup walnuts, chopped
¾ cup flour


Cut chilli in half; combine all the ingredients except pears to a saucepan, big enough to hold pears. Simmer for 5 minutes. Peel pears, halve and core. Add to the wine syrup. Add water if necessary to cover pears. Cut a circle of baking paper slightly larger than the pot and place over the pears. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the pears are cooked. Remove and place on a plate to cool a little. Reduce the red wine syrup until reduced and thick.

In a food processor – process the flour, icing sugar and butter. Add the pistachio nuts and the egg yolk. Pulse to combine.

Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to the pastry until it combines as a ball. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll the pastry out to fit a 30cm flan dish or two smaller oblong tart tins.

Melt chocolate and butter in microwave. Add sugar and blend well. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in pistachio nuts and finally flour. Pour into pastry shell. Top with poached pears. Bake at 180 Celsius for 40-50 minutes until the cake is firm to touch. Glaze the top of the pears with 1 cup of the red wine syrup reduced to ¼ cup.

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