PEARS IN CREAMY CUSTARD TART
Shortcrust pastry.  Make your own or a good quality shop bought pastry is just fine.
                                                                                        
8ozs     plain four                                             
4ozs     butter
Cold water to mix into a dough
1 ½ lb   pears that are just ripe
8oz       whipping cream
3 ozs    caster sugar
2 large eggs plus I egg yolk beaten together
Juice of ½ a lemon

Oven 200 degrees for blind baking the pastry then 190 degrees for the tart
10 inch flan tin well greased or cake tin with removeable base lined with baking parchment

Mix the butter into the flour till it is a fine crumbly mixture.  I use my old Kenwood mixer so I touch the mix as little as possible...hot hands are the downfall of light pastry.  Add the cold water slowly to make a dough.  Roll the dough and line the tin then put in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Rest the pastry even if you use shop bought, this helps to prevent the pastry shrinking when it is baked.

Bake blind at 200 degrees for 15 minutes using ceramic baking beans or dried peas on greaseproof paper over the pastry to prevent the pasty rising.  Remove from the oven and remove the beans, return the pastry case to the oven for a further 4 or 5 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Peel and core the pears, slice and put them in a bowl.  Stir the lemon juice into the pears to stop them discolouring.
Combine the cream, sugar and eggs.
Arrange the pears neatly in the pastry case then pour over the creamy mixture.

Bake in the middle of the oven at 190 for approximately 25 minutes until the cream is set and the top starts to colour.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving


MINCEMEAT TART WITH A TWIST

Sweet pastry.  Make your own or a good quality shop bought pastry is just fine.
200g (8oz) Plain flour
100g (4oz) Butter
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons icing sugar
Cold water to mix to a dough

Filling
12oz jar good quality mincemeat
2 oranges
1 lemon
Optional - grate the zest of 1 orange and the lemon into the mincemeat.

Topping
50g  (2 oz)  Butter
100g  (4 oz) Caster Sugar
75g (3 oz) Rice flour
4 tablespoons ground almonds
1 egg
50g (20z) Flaked Almonds

Oven 200C for blind baking the pastry then reduced to 190C for the first 20 minutes of baking the tart.
9 inch flan tin well greased

For the filling - cut the peel, pith and skin from the oranges and lemon leaving the segments without any skin.  Cut them up (I cut them into thirds) and mix with the mincemeat.
Spread over the base of the pastry.

For the topping - Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the beaten egg then fold in the rice flour and ground almonds.
Spread this over the mincemeat filling then sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

Bake in a moderate oven 190C for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C and continue to bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
You may need to cover with parchment paper near the end of the cooking time if it is going a little too brown.