Gingerbread features quite a lot in the M household and I'm sure B will introduce it once baby B is able to push his little kitchen stool into the kitchen and demand to help!! I think B and I were gingerbread mad from an early age as Mum had an old Women's Weekly book that had a great recipe for gingerbread men. We would often make them growing up so any recipes that I stumble across with the words "gingerbread" in them sends me into a cooking frenzy with fond memories of this flavour. This tart that I came across in the Jun/Jul issue of Donna Hay is just gorgeous, the flavours of the pear and almond go so well with the gingerbread base. It was so simple but looked extremely impressive.
You will need:
125g butter, chopped and softened
1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar
2/3 cup (230g) golden syrup
2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons ground ginger, sifted
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
1/2 cup (60g) almond meal (ground almonds)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
3 firm brown pears, sliced
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar, extra
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (55g) orange marmalade
1 eggwhite, beaten
icing sugar and store bought vanilla custard, to serve
Preheat oven to 160 degrees (325F). Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat for 8 - 10 minutes or until pale and creamy.
Add the golden syrup, flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda and beat until mixture just comes together to form a smooth dough.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes
Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper until 5mm thick. Cut out a 20cm x 40cm rectangle.
Mix to combine the almond meal and sugar and sprinkle down the centre of the rectangle, leaving a 5cm border.
Place pears , extra sugar, vanilla and marmalade in a bowl and toss to combine.
Top the dough with the pear mixture and fold the edges over the pears. Brush with egg. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tart is cooked and golden.
Dust with the icing sugar and serve with custard.