Dayna Hoskin really knows how to bake up a storm.
~Best Recipes

Poached Pear & Chocolate Custard Pie

I was so excited to be baking this recipe today! It's actually a little something that I put together about a year ago, but I just couldn't get a decent photo of it due to my trailing a new 'no melt icing sugar' on it that went on waay too fine and ruined the fun for everybody. It tasted great! Just looked a little lacklustre, so I didn't end up sharing the recipe with you guys! But, finally, I've gotten around to the re-bake and I am super stocked with the results, of which were achieved using regular old icing sugar. Don't fix what ain't broke. 

#1 Your pastry can be a little temperamental depending on the temperature on the day of your bake. On a hot day, your butter will melt into the mixture more meaning you'll need less poaching liquid, and on a cold day it'll stay a little more solid meaning you'll require a little more. So to ensure you nail the consistency, start with 1 tbsp of poaching liquid, if your dough doesn't form a ball in the processor (stays crumbly) add 1 more tbsp and continue until your dough comes together nicely *you shouldn't need more than 3tbsp).

#2 Be very gentle when whisking your custard mixture on the stove-top, we want to minimize the amount of air in our custard mixture to avoid bubbles in the finished product. This is also why we recommend passing the custard through a sieve before pouring it into your tart, well, that and to remove any chunky bits of cocoa powder.

#3 While we're on the custard! Don't walk away while your custard is on the heat. You want it to heat up enough to ensure that the sugar melts, but not enough that the mixture boils, so keep a close eye on it. Allowing your custard to boil will cause it to thicken and you don't want to be mucking around trying to spread thick custard around your pears, the results will just be messy!

#4 When pouring your custard into your base, try your best to avoid dripping any custard onto your pears. It's not the end of the world if you do, but the results will be prettier if it's avoided. 

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Yield: 9

Poached Pears and Chocolate Custard Tart

prep time: 1 hourcook time: 45 Mtotal time: 1 H & 45 M
It may seem an unlikely 'pear' but they're a match made in heaven.

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 pears, peeled (I used Williams Pears)
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 3tbsp cocoa powder
  • 125g unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 2tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp poaching liquid
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp poaching liquid
  • + cocoa powder for dusting


How to cook Poached Pears and Chocolate Custard Tart

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease your tart tin and sift 1tbsp of cocoa powder atop the butter, spread evenly so the entire surface is coated and tap out any excess. Set aside.
  3. Peel your pears and place into a medium saucepan with 4 cups water, 1 cup caster sugar and 1 cinnamon stick.
  4. Place the saucepan over a medium heat and allow to simmer until the liquid has roughly halved. Take off the heat and allow your pears to cool in the liquid.
  5. Into a food processor, place 2 cups plain flour, 2tbsp cocoa powder, 125g unsalted butter (cut into small cubes) and 2tbsp white granulated sugar. Blitz briefly to combine.
  6. Add 1 egg and 2tbsp of poaching liquid to the food processor. Blitz until your dough clumps together in one large section.
  7. Sprinkle your bench with a small amount of cocoa powder, tip your dough out onto your bench, knead it a couple of times to bring the dough together, and then roll it out to roughly 2mm - 3mm thick.
  8. Carefully place your dough into your pre-prepared tart tin, and press firmly into the corners.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut any excess hanging over the edge of the tart tin and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Retrieve tart from the oven and set aside.
  11. Place 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 6 egg yolks, 1/2 cup caster sugar, 2/3 cup thickened cream and 1tbsp poaching liquid into a large saucepan. Whisk together gently over a low heat until the sugar has melted into your custard, avoid allowing the mixture to boil. Set aside to cool.
  12. Remove your pears from the poaching liquid, and cut them down the centre, gently remove the core with a spoon, and place cut side down onto your tart base. Repeat until all four pears have been halved.
  13. Once happy with your pear arrangement, pour your custard through a sieve and into a pouring jug, then gently pour your custard around your pears.
  14. Place back in the oven for 25 minutes.
  15. To avoid the custard cracking as it cools, open the oven door slightly and allow your tart to cool in inside for roughly 30 minutes before removing it and bringing it to room temperature.


EQUIPMENT food processor whisk  9" - 10" diameter tart tin rolling pin 2 medium saucepans sieve
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