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Rustic pear, fig & grape tart

This beautiful tart, rather like a rustic open pie, is filled to the brim with a jumble of seasonal fruit and is simple to make. You won’t get a clean slice, so dig in with a big spoon and serve in bowls with a drizzle of cream or a spoonful vanilla ice cream. Serves 10.

2 ¾ cups plain flour
1tlb castor sugar
a pinch of salt
250g unsalted butter, chilled B-D Farm Paris Creek
2 eggs
3tlb water

1kg pears, peeled, cored and sliced into twelfths – Ashbourne Orchards or McLaren Vale Orchards
10 figs, quartered Gerry & Linda Bariamas
1 small bunch fresh table grapes, stemmed Gerry & Linda Bariamas
1/3 cup castor sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
big handful of whole walnuts
2tlb brandy
250g marscapone
1 egg

1 x lightly greased 25cm tart tin or shallow oven proof fry pan.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (fan forced). Place pears in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water, cover with a lid and gently cook until they begin to soften – about 15 minutes. Remove lid and cook for a further 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the dough- sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and mix together with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Using a small bowl, beat one egg with a fork. Add the egg and water to the flour mixture and mix until the dough holds together. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and working quickly, lightly kneed until smooth. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 30 minutes or  until firm.  Roll the dough out until it’s about 45cm round. Brush off any excess flour and fit into the baking dish. The edges will overhang the sides quite a bit.

Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl with a fork and then brush the insides of the dough with the egg. Place pears, figs, grapes, sugar and brandy in a large bowl then gently mix the ingredients together. Transfer the filling into the tart dough then scatter walnuts over filling. In a small bowl, mix together the mascarpone and remaining egg then pour over the tart filling. Lift up the edges to cover the filling then sprinkle a good amount of additional sugar over the top of the dough. Place in oven and cook for 1 hour or until dough is browned and the fruit is cooked through. Remove the tart from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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