Pear and Rhubarb Tarts

Ingredients

serves 6

3 William pears (650g)
3/4 cup (plus 1 tablespoon extra) sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 strips lemon peel
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/4cup dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon mixed spice
6 sheets Antoniou Fillo pastry
100 g butter, melted (plus extra for greasing)
5 stems of rhubarb cut into 4 cm lengths icing sugar
ice cream or custard, to serve

Method

Peel and core pears, then dice into 1 cm cubes. Place in a medium saucepan along with 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and peel. Stir over a medium heat until simmering. Add cinnamon stick; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove lid and simmer, stirring occasionally for a further 10 minutes or until pears are tender. Set aside to cool. When cool, drain excess liquid from pears. Remove peel and cinnamon stick.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease six 11cm diameter pie dishes with butter and set aside.

Spread hazelnuts on an oven tray. Roast for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place in a tea towel and rub to remove skins. Cool, then place in a food processor along with 1/4 cup of the sugar, breadcrumbs and mixed spice. Process until hazelnuts are finely ground. Set aside.

Lay a sheet of fillo on a bench (cover remaining fillo with a tea towel to prevent drying out). Brush liberally with butter, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon hazelnut mixture. Lay another sheet of fillo over the top, then brush liberally with butter. Cut in halves lengthways, then into thirds crossways, to form 6 squares. Stack 3 of the squares, placing them at a slight angle to each other to achieve a star shape. Repeat with remaining 3 squares to form another stack. Line 2 of the prepared pie dishes with the fillo stacks, allowing edges to overhang.

Working quickly, place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining hazelnut mixture on the base of each tart.

Place 1/6th of the pears (about 1/4 cup) in each tart. Top each tart with a layer of rhubarb (about 5 pieces). Brush rhubarb lightly with water, then sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sugar over the rhubarb of each tart. Fold overhanging pastry over filling. Brush pastry with butter. Repeat with remaining fillo pastry, butter, hazelnut mixture, pears and rhubarb to form 4 more tarts.

Place tarts on an oven tray. Bake 35 minutes or until golden. Dust with icing sugar and serve with ice cream or custard.

Cook’s Tip: Tarts can be made up to step 6 a few hours beforehand and kept refrigerated until ready to bake.