I was out shopping recently when the beauty of these Forelle Pears literally stopped me in my tracks. These red and greenish-yellow speckled pears came all the way from South Africa, but they looked as freshly-picked as if they had been grown locally (yeah, wishful thinking, what with the heat and high humidity in the tropics!). So I grabbed a few of these and immediately ideas started popping in my head like papparazzi flashbulbs going off. Oh yes, I had plans for these babies!
The first thing I did when I got home was wash them, admire their beautiful form and multicolored skin in the waning light and quickly took some photographs. At that moment, I wished for two things - one, that I was a good enough painter so I could accurately capture the amazingness of these pears, and two, that I could just sink my teeth into one of them to get a taste of the juicy nectar (I couldn't, because I was still fasting).
Such torture, I know. But it is in these times of duress that I find my best ideas surfacing. Something about brain chemistry that's inexplicable (or maybe it is, if you're a brain scientist or psychologist), like in those movies when people who think they're about to die have rapid flashes of memories right back from childhood to well, the point of their impeding doom. Ok, like I said, I had plans.
Black treacle in coconut cream
Since it was about 30 minutes to iftar (that's when I break my fast and can eat, drink and be an upright flower again), I had to think fairly quickly. There were some frozen puff pastry sheets in my freezer, and I'd been wanting to use the black treacle that I'd bought in some sort of dish so, voila! The idea of a superquick pear tart with a treacle custard came about. Only, fasting seemed to have wreaked havoc with my tastebuds, so I decided to throw in some coconut cream into the custard as well. There, doesn't Forelle Pear Tart with Coconut Treacle Tart sound lovelier?
Forelle Pear Tart with Coconut Treacle Tart
1 Forelle pear, cored and sliced thinly
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (9 x 9 inch)
50ml coconut cream/milk
brown sugar, to sprinkle
dash of grated nutmeg
egg, for glazing
1. Preheat the oven to 220C, and line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
2. Thaw the puff pastry and when it is slightly softer, drape it over an 8-inch round baking tin or pie dish.
3. Whisk the egg with treacle and coconut cream lightly and pour into the centre of the puff pastry well.
4. Arrange the thinly sliced pears (I just left the skin on) in a round, fan shape over the treacle custard and fold the edges of the puff pastry inwards to create a self-containing "wall". Sprinkle brown sugar and nutmeg on top of the fruit.
5. Brush tops of pastry with beaten egg to give it a shiny, golden glaze when cooked. Bake for 20 minutes and serve warm.
This pie made it on the table in time for iftar, and I finally got my wish to sink my teeth into a pear. The unusual flavors went surprisingly so well together, it was heavenly!