This Pear and Cherry Flan Recipe is traditional to Wales, first developed in the late 1800s. You do not often see the combination of pears and cherries together, neither do you see the addition of arrowroot into many modern tarts or flans, as such this is an unusual and specialist flan native to Wales. Arrowroot is bought in a powdered form and is used as a thickener, today most people use gelatin and this can be substituted for the arrowroot, as the original recipe states.
Original Victorian Pear And Cherry Flan Recipe
4oz flan pastry; pears and cherries; 1/4 pint fruit syrup; 1 1/2 oz. sugar; 1 teaspoonful arrowroot; 2 teaspoonfuls apricot jam or redcurrant jelly; squeeze of lemon juice.
Prepare the flan case. Arrange fruit in flan. Blend arrowroot with a little of the syrup. Add the remainder together with the sugar. Bring to the boil and cook until clear and of a coating consistency. Stir in lemon juice and jam or jelly if required. Pour over fruit while still warm. If preferred the arrowroot may be replaced by gelatin in the proportion of 1/4 oz to 1/4 pint syrup.
Pear And Cherry Flan Recipe
For the pastry
- 300g plain flour
- 100g softened butter (diced)
- 70g softened lard (diced)
- 100g sugar
- a little milk to bind
For the flan
- 2 or 3 large pears (peeled, cored and cut in slices)
- 150g cherries (stoned and chopped in half)
- 120ml pear juice (or apple juice)
- 120g sugar
- 3 large spoonfuls of apricot jam
- 1 tsp of powdered arrowroot (or powdered gelatine)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
For the flan pastry: in a mixing bowl sieve in the plain flour, add the sugar, then with your fingers, rub in the softened lard and butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add only a little milk, until the bread crumbs turn into a stiff paste (pastry) which is silky. Knead gently with your hands for a minute, cover the pastry with cling film and put it in the fridge for twenty minutes.
Peel, core and slice the pears into thin slices or wedges. Stalk and stone the cherries and cut them in half.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Grease a large tart or flan tin.
On a floured work surface roll out the pastry to 1 cm thick and large enough to line your tart or flan tin. Pick up the pastry and carefully line a large flan or tart tin which you have greased with a little butter. Work the pastry into the tin and then trim off any excess pastry from the edges of the tin.
Fill the pastry base (in the flan tin) with the pear slices. In a saucepan add the apricot jam and warm the jam through a little. Brush some of this warm jam over the pear slices and then scatter over the cherries. Sprinkle over some sugar. Put the flan in the oven for twenty minutes at 180C to cook the pastry and soften the fruit.
To the remaining apricot jam in the saucepan add all put 2 tablespoons of the pear juice. Put the reserved 2 tablespoons of pear juice into a little cup and add to it the arrowroot, mix the arrowroot into the pear juice thoroughly so the powder does not clump.
To the saucepan with the jam and pear juice add the sugar and lemon juice, stir and bring gently up to the boil. Reduce this liquid by a quarter so that it thickens and all the sugar and jam has dissolved into the pear juice to become a syrup. Once at this stage for a few minutes remove from the heat to cool.
Once the pear juice syrup has cooled a little add the arrow root and 2 tablespoons of pear juice to the saucepan and stir thoroughly to combine.
Remove the tart from the oven – leave in the tin. After ten minutes of cooling pour over the pear juice syrup from the saucepan and allow to set. Once set remove from the tin and slice to serve