The smell of bread baking. The luxurious sight of chocolate melting. The mouth-watering anticipation of that first bite into a jam-filled pastry. It’s no wonder baking has become one of Britain’s favourite pastimes when we can’t even write about it without salivating. Plus, having watched every episode of The Great British Bake Off, we’re totally convinced we are secret baking experts. But, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that quality baking needs quality ingredients. Which is where Nielsen-Massey comes in.
Harvesting vanilla pods solely for the extract, Nielsen-Massey uses a cold extraction process to create nearly 300 vanilla flavours. Crafting the world’s finest flavours for over 100 years, Nielsen-Massey’s vanilla is used by prominent chefs and pâtissierie chefs in their favourite recipes.
Truly fine vanilla is at once rich, sweet and sophisticated, with a fragrance that triggers all the pleasure centres of your brain and it can be used everything from snowflake whoopie pies to strawberry custard tarts. But it’s this recipe for the Nielsen-Massey Sugared Pear, Vanilla and Cinnamon Tarts we’ll be trying out first from bakingmad.com.
Click here for more information and recipes, plus the chance to win your own personalised bottle of vanilla.
Nielsen-Massey Sugared Pear, Vanilla and Cinnamon Tarts
Makes 9 tarts / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Cooking time: 20 - 25 minutes
1 x 375g Ready rolled puff pastry
4 Medium pears, cored and sliced thinly
2 tbsp Golden caster sugar (we use Billington’s)
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste/Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
25g Unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
For the cinnamon sugar:
1 tbsp Golden caster sugar (we use Billington’s)
Pinch of cinnamon powder
Preheat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry and cut nine equal sized rectangles. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Divide the pears between the pastry sheets, leaving a 2cm border around the edge of the pastry. Curl up the edges slightly to prevent any juices escaping.
Make the vanilla syrup by placing the golden caster sugar and 50ml water in a small pan. Bring to the boil and simmer on a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste. Brush the pears and tops of the pastry with the syrup and dot with the butter.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the pears are tender and the pastry is golden and crisp. Meanwhile, mix together the sugar and cinnamon powder. When the tarts are ready, remove from the oven and whilst they are still hot, finish with an even sprinkling of the cinnamon sugar. Delicious served warm with vanilla ice-cream or crème fraiche.