• Partnered with
  • Makes 6
  • 75 mins cook
  • 30 mins marinate

Little pear, fennel and orange crostatas

Little pear, fennel and orange crostatas

There’s something about single-serve crostatas – rustic Italian-style pies – that is so incredibly inviting. Not only is there no slicing required, but no sharing either! This is my go-to gluten-free pastry: crisp, buttery and just barely sweet. Recipe by Emma Galloway for Taste Magazine

Ingredients

  • 6 pears*
  • 1 L cold water
  • 50 g unrefined raw sugar
  • 60 ml honey
  • 4 strips orange peel (cut with a vegetable peeler)
  • 3 tsp ground almonds
  • vanilla ice cream, to serve

Pastry

  • 140 g fine brown rice flour, plus extra for rolling*
  • 35 g buckwheat flour
  • 25 g tapioca flour or organic cornflour
  • 80 g ground almonds
  • 50 g unrefined icing sugar*
  • 125 g cold butter, diced
  • 1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten

Fennel seed & orange sugar

  • 2 tsp lightly toasted fennel seeds*
  • 2 tbsp unrefined raw sugar
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • pinch fine sea salt

Steps

  1. Peel pears and halve. Scoop out seeds with a melon baller if you have one, or a sharp knife.
  2. Place water, raw sugar, honey and orange peel in a large saucepan and bring slowly up to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and honey. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes before placing the pears in the syrup.
  3. To make the pastry, place flours, ground almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and pulse until dough just barely starts to come together. (Or you can whisk the flours, ground almonds and sugar in a bowl, then rub in the butter by hand before adding the egg).
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly rice-floured bench and knead a few times to bring it together. Shape into a disc, wrap in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (the pastry can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the fridge – in this case, just allow it to rest on the bench for 15 minutes to bring it back to the right temperature before rolling out).
  5. Grind toasted fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle or electric coffee grinder until roughly ground. Add sugar and grind a little more. Add orange zest and salt and give it one final light mix, then set aside until needed.
  6. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a large oven tray with baking paper. Slice each pear half into 1cm-thick pieces (keep pieces together, for easy fanning later).
  7. Divide pastry into six pieces, rolling each into a ball. On a sheet of lightly rice-floured baking paper, roll out a pastry ball into a circle about 3mm thick. Transfer to the tray carefully. Spread 1/2 tsp ground almonds in the centre of the pastry, leaving a 2cm border around the edge.
  8. Arrange pieces from two pear halves in the centre of pastry, fanning them out slightly. Pull up pastry sides in a rustic fashion, enclosing most of the filling. Repeat with remaining pastry and ingredients. Sprinkle the tops generously with the fennel seed and orange sugar, reserving a little to sprinkle on after cooking, if you like.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden. Serve either hot or at room temperature, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a scattering of reserved fennel seed and orange sugar.

For more recipes, tips and inspiration from Emma Galloway, check out her blog mydarlinglemonthyme

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