Christine McFadden Cookery and Food Writing
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Christine McFadden with students
Barbecued Lobster with
New Potatoes, Watercress
and Chives
Blackberries with Sweet
Spiced Ricotta
Candied Seville Orange
Peel in Syrup
Celeriac Steaks with
Mushrooms, Parmesan and
Sizzled Sage
Celery and Barley Soup
with Seeds
Coconut Flour Pancakes
with Lime
Deep-Fried Egg
Easy Curry
Fennel, Orange, Olive
and Red Onion Salad
Globe Artichokes
Glorious Green Stir-Fry
Gooseberries with Orange
and Bay Syrup
Goose Egg Frittata with
Potato, Onions and
Piquillo Peppers
Greengage and
Cobnut Crumble
Guinea Fowl with Peppercorn
and Kaffir Lime Leaf Butter
Japonica Jelly
Korean Roasted Roots
Medlar and Ginger Creams
Medlar and Rosemary Jelly
Meringue Roulade with Strawberry, Cucumber
and Mint Filling
Mexican-Style Cabbage Soup with Pork and Beans
Moroccan Goat Tagine with
Apricots and Almonds
Oxtail, Celeriac and Carrots
Pan de Higo
(Spanish Fig Bread)
Pan-Fried Cauliflower with
Lovage Crumbs and Lemon
Parsnip and Ginger Cupcakes with Tangerine Drizzle
Pasta Con Le Sarde
Peach and Almond Ricotta
Peaches in Strawberry-Rose Syrup
Pear and Chestnut Tart with
Rosemary and Orange Syrup
Quince Compôte
Quince and Ginger Sorbet
Rabbit with Potatoes,
Peppers and Lemon
Roasted Parsnip and
Cumin Soup
Roasted Squash and
Chilli Soup
Roasted Swede, Ginger and
Spiced Black Bean Soup
Rosemary Sorbet
Rhubarb and Angelica Sorbet
Rhubarb Tart with Star Anise
and Orange
Salted Sevilles with Star Anise, Coriander and Chilli
Sea Bass Parcels
with Fennel and
Preserved Lemon
Sea Buckthorn, Apple
and Ginger Cake
Seville Orange Ice Cream
Sicilian Sesame Bread
Spiced Medlar Tart with
Walnut Pastry
Spiced Poached Pears,
Walnuts and Sheep’s Cheese
Spiced Roast Quince with
Honey and Clotted Cream
Spring Lamb and Barley Pie
with Lemon, Rosemary
and Mint
Strawberry and
Black Pepper Ice-Cream
Strawberry Compôte with
Tarragon and Orange Zest
Steak and Kidney Pie
Sweet Pepper Tarte Tatin
with Black Pepper Caramel
Turkey Egg Frittata with
Roasted Red Peppers
Two-Cherry Yogurt Ice
Venison Vindaloo
Warm Duck Breasts with Peppery Leaves, Radishes and Walnuts
Warm Salad of Partridge,
Pears and Walnuts
Watercress and
Mushroom Pâté
Gluten free chestnut pastry Dorset Foodie South West
Learn to make gluten free pastry Christine McFadden South West
Pear chestnut tart recipe glutenfree Christine McFadden South West
Recipe pear chestnut tart rosemary syrup Christine McFadden South West
Rosemary syrup recipe development Christine McFadden South West

Pear and Chestnut Tart with
Rosemary and Orange Syrup

A delectable tart that celebrates seasonal ingredients – chestnuts,
pears, oranges and rosemary. Given a helping hand with tapioca starch and
rice flour, chestnut flour pastry makes a crackling crisp crust with a slight nutty
flavour. It's also gluten-free. You could use ordinary short-crust pastry
if you prefer. It's fine to take a short-cut and use vacuum-packed chestnuts
instead of freshly roasted ones.
Serves 4–6

vegetable oil for greasing
elongated firm-fleshed pears 3–4, such as Conference
sugar 2 tbsp
roasted peeled chestnuts roughly chopped 1 tbsp
thick cream to serve

for the pastry:
chestnut flour 55g
tapioca starch 55g, plus extra for dusting
rice flour 25g
xanthan powder ½ tsp
fine sea salt a pinch
unsalted butter 35g, chilled and diced
egg 1, organic or free-range, lightly beaten
iced water ½ tbsp

for the syrup:
sugar 150g
water 100ml
orange peel 5 short thin strips, without any bitter white pith
rosemary 3–4 tender sprigs

1) First make the pastry. Put the chestnut flour, tapioca starch, rice flour, xanthan powder and salt in a sieve set over a bowl. Muddle with your fingers and push through the sieve. Sieve once or twice more, until well mixed.

2) Tip the diced butter into the flour mixture and rub it in with the tips of your fingers and thumbs (chill them first under cold running water). Use a flicking movement – imagine you are playing castanets. Hold your hands well above the bowl so that the flour drifts gently down, and you can see any fragments of butter that still need rubbing in. Once the butter has been completely rubbed in, mix in the beaten egg and water.

3) Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and form it into a thick narrow oblong rather like a railway carriage, ready for rolling out. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for 30 minutes.

4) Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 8. Grease the base and sides of an oblong metal tart tin measuring about 35x10x2.5cm. Line the base with baking parchment and grease that too.

5) Flour the work surface and your rolling pin. With the short side of the block of dough facing you, use your rolling pin to gently press it away from you in several places along its length. Repeat this two or three times so that the dough gradually begins to elongate and flatten. Roll it into a 41x16-cm rectangle. Carefully lift it into the tin, pressing it into the corners with the side of your index finger. Trim the edges with a sharp knife, and use the trimmings to patch any cracks (see Cook's notes.)

6) Slice the pears in half lengthways, and remove the core and peel. Slice each half lengthways into three. Pack them tightly along the length of the pastry case, head to tail and rounded side facing down. Sprinkle evenly with the sugar.

7) Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pears are just tender and the edges beginning to blacken, rotating the tin halfway through. Protect the edges of the pastry with strips of foil if it browns too much.

8) Take the tart out of the oven and leave in the tin to cool to room temperature.

9) Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil, then boil for 8–10 minutes or until the bubbles look big and very syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool and thick, but still pourable. If it seems too runny, boil for a little longer.

10) Spoon the syrup over the pears, and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve at room temperature with a jug of thick cream.

Cook's notes
• If you don't have an oblong tart tin, use a 20-cm/8-inch round tin instead.
If you are using a round tart tin, form the pastry into a thick disc rather
than an oblong.
• Scrupulously check the unfilled pastry case for cracks. If there are any,
patch them very carefully.
• The pastry is quite fragile so it's best to serve the tart in the tin in case
the syrup leaks.
• Leave the rosemary and orange strips in the syrup when you pour it over
the pears. They look lovely and give an appetising hint of flavour.


Recipe © Christine McFadden 2020

    Photography: Christine McFadden    
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