Pear and Frangipane Tarts
Step 1: For the sour cream pastry, pulse butter and flour in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add sour cream and pulse until just combined. Remove from processor and gently roll out into a square (approx 10 cm x 10 cm). Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Remove the pastry from the fridge and place between two pieces of baking paper. Roll to 3mm thick, then transfer to a tray and place in freezer to rest for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Line 12 x 9.5cm loose-bottomed tart tins with pastry, then place in fridge to rest for 10 minutes.
Step 4: To poach the pears, place the pears into a medium size pot. Pour over the Verjuice and water, which should just cover the pears then add the sugar and bay leaves. Place pot over a medium high heat, bring to boiling point then reduce the heat to medium low, place a lid on the pot and gently simmer for approximately 40 minutes or until the pears are cooked through.
Step 5: Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, increase the heat and bring the Verjuice poaching liquid to the boil and reduce to half a cup. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Step 6: Preheat oven to 200C.
Step 7: Line pastry cases with foil or baking paper, add pie weights, and blind bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil and weights, and bake for a further 5 minutes or until pastry is dry and golden. Set aside to cool completely.
Step 8: Decrease oven to 150C.
Step 9: To make the frangipane filling, use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugar until thick and pale. Add the eggs one at a time, then add 1/4 cup of the reduced Verjuice liquid. Fold in flour and almond meal until just combined.
Step 10: Transfer the filling into cooled tart cases, then place half a pear on top, gently pressing it into the filling. Place into the preheated oven to cook for 20 minutes or until golden and the pear has sunk into the centre.
Step 11: Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Step 12: Plate up warm tart with cream and a drizzle of the remaining Verjuice liquid just prior to serving.
Sour Cream Pastry
200g unsalted butter chilled and chopped into small pieces
250g plain flour
125ml 1/2 cup sour cream
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