Members' Recipes Archive

January 2006
Tarte Belle-Hélène
Fran Warde

Tarte Belle-Hélène

By: Fran Warde

Pears and chocolate have always been something of a winning combination. Use firm yellow pears for this recipe, and serve just warm with vanilla icecream and dark curls of chocolate. The pastry is a delicate, sweet, crumbly one, used only for desserts.
This recipe is taken from The French Market.

Preparation 1 hour, plus 1 hour chilling. Cooking 45 minutes.


For the pâte sucrée:
60g butter, plus extra for greasing
140g plain flour
50g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1–2 medium egg yolks

For the filling:
3 ripe pears
75g butter
75g unrefined sugar
1 egg
20g ground almonds
75g self-raising flour
¼ tsp baking powder
25g cocoa
50ml milk


1. Heat the oven to 190 °C/gas 5. Lightly butter a 25cm flan ring and place it on a buttered baking sheet.
2. For the pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the texture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Now add the icing sugar and mix through. Whisk the egg yolks, add them to the mixture and combine, using a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion until it forms a pastry ball. Wrap in cling-film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Lightly dust a cool surface with icing sugar, roll the pastry out to fit just inside the flan ring, then carefully drape the pastry over the rolling pin and unroll it into the flan ring on the baking sheet. Using your fingers, mould the pastry into a ring to form the base of the tart, then chill for a further 30 minutes.
5. For the filling, peel, core and halve the pears and arrange round-side-up in the pastry case.
6. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat in, then mix in the ground almonds. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa, and fold in with the milk.
7. Spoon into the pastry case and smooth the top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, then cover with tin foil and bake for a further 15 minutes. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.

© Recipe copyright 2006 Fran Warde


Author: Fran Warde Email:

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