Puff Pastry: Pear Pain au Chocolat with Nutella

posted by Andy 02-15-103 8:24 AM

Pear Pain au Chocolat with Nutella
Recipe By : London Times - 09/01
Serving Size : 4

2 poached pears, drained
350 grams puff pastry (or Tenderflake @ 397g)
3 tablespoons Nutella (or more)
1 small egg, lightly beaten
icing sugar, to dust (or coarse or regular sugar)
apple jelly (or some other jelly)

Cut each of the pears in half, lengthwise, slicing through the center of the stem, if you can.

Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F.

Roll out the pastry to make a rectangular shape about 3mm thick, then cut into 2 long strips. The width of each should be a little more than the height of a pear, and the length long enough to fit 4 pear halves side by side, with 2 cm gaps between them and at each end. Put one of the pastry rectangles on a greased baking sheet, then spread thickly with the Nutella, leaving a 1 cm border around the edge. Brush the border with beaten egg and carefully lay the other sheet on top. Seal the edges, being careful not to press down on the Nutella filling.

Lay the halved pears, cut side down, across the pastry. Then, using the tip of a knife, score a shallow cut in the pastry around each pear half. Brush the pastry with egg, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Slice into 4 and serve dusted with icing sugar.

Andy's Notes: I made this as follows:

Peel pears (pears are better slightly green than soft and overripe, as they will soften with the poaching). Slice in half, through the stem if possible. Core, leaving stem in place. Place, cut side down in a pot large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add water to barely cover the pears; add 1/4 cup sugar for each cup of water you added. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently until a knife just slips easily into the pear (10 to 30 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the pear). Remove to a plate to drain and cool. Set aside.

Separate puff pastry squares ( if package has 2 squares, as Canadian puff pastry does) and roll one square out to ~12" square (smaller if your pears are small). Square off the 4 sides so you have a decent square. Cut in 4 quarters; place on a large non-stick baking sheet. Spread each with about 1 Tbs Nutella, leaving about 3/4" along outer edge all around each pastry free of Nutella. Brush outer edge with beaten egg yolk.

Roll second square of puff pastry out to same size square as first. Cut in 4. Place a square over each of the Nutella-covered squares. Press all along outer edge of each square to seal edges.

Place a poached pear half in the centre of each square. With a sharp paring knife, cut through the top layer ONLY around the outer edge of the pear (this allows the pastry around the pear to rise up; don't cut all the way through). Brush the pastry with beaten egg, and sprinkle with a little sugar (coarse or regular). Bake at 400 for ~18 minutes until nicely golden brown. Remove from oven and brush the pear only with some melted jelly while hot. Cool.

Notes: I've used a port wine jelly on these - delicious - and an apricot jelly. With small, almost round pears, I've been able to make 6 pastries with the recipe (adjust the shape of the rolled out puff pastry accordingly). Slice the stems of the pears before slicing the pears themselves - much easier than the other way around. They are also wonderful to eat by hand, great for a special picnic, perhaps.

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