Friday, 12 July 2013

Pear and Frangipane Tart and MasterChef Ireland

I love a good foodie programme on TV and am a self-obsessed MC (a.k.a MasterChef addict)!!! I love MC in all its varieties whether the contestants are professionals, celebrities or general members of the public. I also enjoy watching the numerous versions of this TV show that are filmed elsewhere in the world. Australian MacterChef takes the show to a whole new level with teams and egg breaking challenges accompanied by a judging panel who have a complete inability to eat food off of the same plate so all dishes cooked up by the contestants have to be meticulously divided between plates for them before tasting can begin (there’s no Gregg just digging straight in and indulgently liking the chocolate fondant off the back of his spoon).

Now that I live on the other side of the Irish Sea I’m also aware of MasterChef Ireland, for which applications are now open for the new series. So if you think you have what it takes to be the best chef in Ireland and be in with a chance of winning €25,000 go apply.

As much as I like to think I am a little Master Chef in my own kitchen I don’t think I am quite ready to take on the challenge of MC….but in recognition that applications for MC Ireland are now open I thought I would attempt to make a recipe from the last series. I went for what was originally a peach and frangipane tart made by Fidelma Boyce.  Frangipane is a great tart filling for anyone who is lactose in tolerant as it is naturally dairy free unlike things like creme patissiere. By substituting the butter in the pastry of the original recipe with a dairy free spread I made this recipe suitable for anyone who is dairy free. (I also didn’t have any peaches so swapped them for pears, but it turned out great!!)



180g plain flour
120g dairy free spread
1 egg
Zest  1 lemon
70g icing sugar


150g icing sugar
180g ground almonds
3 eggs
60 g plain flour
4 pears

Mix the flour and icing sugar for the pastry together in a bowl and stir in the lemon zest. Rub in the spread until fully combined with the mixture resembling breadcrumbs. Then add the egg and bring all of the ingredients together using your hands until a ball of dough is formed.

Wrap the pastry in cling film and transfer to the fridge for an hour to allow to cool.

Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease a loose bottomed 30cm diameter flan tin with dairy free spread.

After an hour roll the pastry out on a floured surface and carefully line the tart tin with the pastry gently pushing it down into all of the edges.

Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans (or uncooked rice) and blind bake for 12 minutes. Then remove the baking beans and paper and return to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Next place the icing sugar, almonds, eggs and flour into a bowl and beat until well combined. Spread this mixture evenly into the pre-baked pastry case.

Core and slice the pears into 2cm thick slices and arrange on top of the frangipane until the case is full with pear slices. Put the tart back into the oven for another 20 to 25 minutes until the frangipane is firm.

Once the tart is removed from the oven you can use a little fruit jam to add a glaze to the tart if desired.

Then allow to cool slightly and tuck in!!

Are you an amazing amateur cook with a passion for food?
Do you dream of pursuing that passion and possibly changing your life?
Have you got what it takes to impress in the MasterChef kitchen?
If so, we want to hear from you!
Don’t miss out, APPLY NOW for the chance to become the next MasterChef Ireland Champion and win a cash prize of €25,000!

Application deadline is 22nd July 2013
For more information and to apply go to:

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