Pear tartlets

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 10 mins + extra for freezing


    • 6 small pears
    • juice of ½ lemon
    • 220g castor sugar
    • 500ml (2 cups) water
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) vanilla extract
    • 2 x 400g rolls ready-made puff pastry
    • 6 slices marzipan
    • 4 pieces of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped
    • 500ml (2 cups) syrup from the ginger
    • 200g mascarpone
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 650g castor sugar
    • icing sugar, to dust



    Peel the pears and place them in a bowl. Cover them with water, add the lemon juice and set aside until needed.


    Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.


    Place the castor sugar, water and vanilla extract in a saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears and poach for 10 – 15 minutes.


    Halve the pears lengthwise and remove the cores, leaving the stems intact. Cut into slices almost to the top so that you can gently fan out the pear halves.


    Cut the pastry into 6 circles big enough to fit the pears and lay them on the baking trays. Place a slice of marzipan in the centre of each circle.


    Mix the ginger and syrup into the mascarpone and spread 30ml (1 tbsp) of the mixture over each marzipan slice.


    Lightly score the pastry around the edges. Place the pears on the marzipan, brush the edges with the egg and bake until golden, about 20 – 25 minutes.


    Sprinkle the pears with the castor sugar. Preheat the grill and grill the tartlets to caramelise the top (alternatively, use a blowtorch).


    Dust with icing sugar and serve.Sue Greig gives cooking lessons at Miele in Bryanston, Johannesburg. For more information contact her on 083 616 0136.


    To drink: Lynx Blanc de Noir’s dominant merlot will complement the sweetness of this dessert.