As I write, we are – in England where I live – entering our fifth week of lock down due to coronavirus. Ingredients which we once took for granted are now limited, or unavailable.
I have always run a well-stocked larder, and I have a regular vegetable and fruit box delivery from Riverford a frankly fantastic company. And I get my flour (and you still can) in industrial quantities from Ingredients for Cooks.
I started off wanting something involving banana, peanut butter and oats (tasty but still healthy and not just white flour and sugar) but somehow, ended up making this.
The original recipe is from my Donna Hay (all hail). It’s from her Fresh and Light book, published in 2014 and given to me by my eldest for Christmas that year. I know this because she inscribed the book. I love a book inscription.
I’ve adapted it slightly because I didn’t have the exact flour (flour is a luxury!) and if you don’t have pears you can use other fruits: I think apples would work, or plums. This is a thin tart – as you can see from the pic. And it’s not fluffy and light. But that’s not what I wanted, I wanted something fairly healthy. That’s what I got.
115g flour – I used a mixture of plain wholemeal and spelt
40g ground almonds
One and a half teaspoons of baking powder
80ml of maple syrup (I actually used 60ml and it was fine)
180ml yoghurt or buttermilk
Finely grated rind of a lemon
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
40g unsalted, melted, butter, slightly cooled
Two pears, peeled, cored, sliced
Two tablespoons of demerara sugar
Oven to 190C.
You need a loose bottomed tin of about 24cm, line the bottom with baking parchment.
Mix together the flours, almonds and baking powder in a largish bowl (this is where you’ll end up putting all the mixture). In another bowl mix together the maple syrup, egg, buttermilk/yoghurt, lemon zest and cinnamon. Add the maple/egg mixture to the flour/almond mixture and at this point, add the melted butter. Mix til combined.
Plop the thick mixture into the tin and spread out, you won’t have much, that’s okay. If you haven’t already, peel/slice/core the pears now and arrange in a pleasing fanned out pattern. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Bake for about 35-40 mins. It should be golden brown and a skewer stabbed into the cakey part should come out clean.
You can serve this warm with cream or ice cream, or cold just as it is. It’s a humble little tart but no less pleasing for that.