Tart recipe
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Festive Cranberry & Pear Tart Recipe by Darina Allen

This tart recipe looks mighty. It is wonderful served warm but is also very good cold and it keeps for several days. Splash in a little kirsch if you are using pears (calvados would be better with apples).

I’ve used both fresh and dried cranberries in this recipe, both are good. The cranberries make the tart look festive.

Serves 8–10


Approx. 110g cranberries
Approx. 150ml apricot glaze, to finish
Doftly whipped cream, to serve

Shortcrust Pastry
200g plain flour
Pinch of salt
110g cold butter
1 organic egg yolk
3–4 tbsp cold water

Poached Pears
225g granulated sugar
A couple of strips of lemon peel and freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
6 pears

100g butter
100g caster sugar
1 organic egg, beaten
1 organic egg yolk
110g whole blanched almonds, ground
25g plain flour
2 tbsp kirsch

Apricot Glaze (makes 300ml)
350g apricot jam
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2–1 lemon


1. First make the shortcrust pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour with the fingertips. When the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs,
2. Whisk the egg yolk and add the water. Take a fork or knife and add just enough liquid to bring the pastry together, then discard the fork and collect the pastry into a ball with your hands. This way you can judge more accurately if you need a few more drops of liquid. The drier and more difficult-to- handle pastry the crisper, shorter crust it will give.
3. Cover the pastry with clingfilm and transfer to the fridge to rest for at least 15 minutes or 30 minutes if possible. This will make the pastry much less elastic and easier to roll.
4. Next poach the pears. Bring the sugar and 600ml water to the boil with the strips of lemon peel in a non-reactive saucepan.
5. Meanwhile, peel the pears thinly, cut in half and core carefully with a melon baller or a teaspoon, keeping a good shape.
6. Put the pear halves into the syrup, cut-side uppermost, add the lemon juice, cover with a paper lid and the lid of the saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15–20 minutes until the pears are just soft. Leave to cool.
7. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry, line a 23cm diameter flan ring or tart tin with a removable base, prick lightly with a fork, flute the edge and chill for about 10 minutes until firm. Bake blind for 15–20 minutes.
8. Next make the frangipane. Cream the butter, gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and soft.
9. Gradually add the egg and egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the almonds and flour and then add the kirsch. Pour the frangipane into the pastry case, spreading it evenly.
10. Drain the pears well and cut them crosswise into very thin slices, then arrange the sliced pears around the tart on the frangipane pointed ends towards the centre. Fill in all the spaces with the cranberries.
11. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/gas mark 6. Bake the tart for 10–15 minutes until the pastry is beginning to brown.
12. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/gas mark 4 and cook for a further 20–30 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the frangipane is set in the centre and nicely golden.
13. Meanwhile, make the apricot glaze. In a small saucepan (not aluminium), melt the apricot jam with the lemon juice and enough water to make a glaze that can be poured.
14. Push the hot jam through a nylon sieve and store in an airtight jar. Reheat the glaze to melt it before using.
15. When the tart is fully cooked, paint generously with half the apricot glaze, remove from the tin and serve warm or cold with a bowl of softly whipped cream.


Growing your own food is exciting but, when it comes to knowing how to make the most of your produce, it can be daunting.

In Grow, Cook, Nourish, bestselling author Darina Allen draws on more than 30 years of experience gardening at Ballymaloe to take you through an extensive list of vegetables, herbs and fruits with each entry including explanations of different varieties, practical information on cultivation, growing and maintenance, plus instructions for the best ways to cook produce as well as preserve and utilise a glut.

Taken from Grow Cook Nourish by Darina Allen, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Clare Winfield.