This decadent dessert combines both hot and cold smoking techniques. Pears are ‘BBQ smoked and poached’ whilst the dark chocolate is cold smoked. For both ingredients, subtlety is the key – just a hint of smoke flavour is all that’s needed to complement the flavour combination.
1. Break up the chocolate bars and place on greaseproof paper, ready for a little cold smoke. Set up your cold smoking equipment – we used cherry dust in a ProQ Cold Smoke Generator and a Bradley smoker as a cold smoking cabinet. Check our cold smoking section for tips & techniques and equipment options – from old fridges to kitchen cupboards! Cold smoke the chocolate for just an hour. (We added in the pecans as part of this recipe experiment, but recommend you simply roast these briefly in a hot frying pan without any oil and use to decorate your tart.)
2. Cut the pears in half and remove the core with a spoon. No need to peel the skins. Place on a heatproof baking dish, add the sugar, water and a drop of whisky or rum (we used Kraken Black Spiced Rum www.krakenrum.co.uk).
3. After 10 minutes turn the pears over and leave to cook for a further 5 minutes. The pears need to retain a slight hardness rather than be cooked too much so that they go mushy. They will take on a bronzed colour as they cook.
5. Whilst the pears are cooking, the liquid should be begin to caramelise creating a lustrous dark sauce. Meanwhile cook your puffed pastry in the oven, pizza oven or Kamado grill.
6. Now to the tart assembly. You can create individual sized portions or a complete tart. Melt the chocolate (in the microwave on medium for just a couple of minutes) and spread over the base of the cooked pastry. Place a couple of pear halves on top, drizzle over a little of the caramelised cooking liquid, add the pecans and sprinkle the tart with demerara sugar. Serve with a generous spoonful of fresh whipped cream.
You can deconstruct this recipe to create different options. Leave out the chocolate for a hot smoked caramelised pear tart. Leave out the pastry and chocolate for Smoked Poached Pears and serve with ice cream. Also try different fruits or nuts using the same method.
- 8 fresh pears
- 2 tbs dark muscovado sugar
- 100ml whisky or rum
- Dark plain chocolate
- Ready-made puff pastry
- Pecan halves
- Sprinlling of demerara sugar
- Pear chips for the smoked pears
- Cherry dust for the cold smoked chocolate