Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pear Imperfection

So yes, as mentioned in previous post, I was very inspired to try baking Adriano Zumbo's Pear Perfection. And well, I did. The following day, I went out first thing in the morning to get all the ingredients and spent my entire day trying to perfect this pastry. However, due to tools/ingredients constraints, I failed to present Zumbo's perfect little artwork, but instead I tweaked it into my little Pear (Im)perfection.

Adriano Zumbo's Pear Perfection - Picture from Masterchef

Pear Imperfection
Recipe adapted from Masterchef and modified by The Bakeanista

Sable pastry:
140g flour
80g butter
55g icing sugar
½ tsp salt
1 yolk
½ tsp vanilla extract
Few drops of green colouring

1. Dice the butter and cream until the mixture is smooth and white.

2. Add the sugar and salt and mix. Add in the flour and finally, the egg yolks, and combine into a ball.

3. Remove the pastry from the bowl and flatten it out on a tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with film and allow to rest in the fridge for at least an hour.

4. Place pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out to 2mm-thick.

5. Place on a tray and place in blast chiller for 3 minutes. Using a 3cm-round pastry cutter, cut out 5 discs, then using a 6cm-round pastry cutter cut out 5 discs.

Green Marzipan:
100g almond meal
50g icing sugar
½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tbsp cold water
½ tsp vanilla extract
Few drops of green colouring

1. Mix together the ground almonds and powdered sugar. Make a well in the centre of the marzipan mixture and add all of the liquid ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

2. You should be left with an almond pastry textured dough. Cover and place marzipan into the refrigerator for an hour.

3. Roll out to 2mm-thick, and using a 5cm-round pastry cutter, cut 5 discs from green marzipan.

Choux Pastry:
100g butter
5g caster sugar
105ml water
135ml milk
¼ teaspoon electric green colour
5g salt
135g plain flour
3 eggs
1 egg yolk

1. Preheat the oven to 185°C.

2. Combine 100g butter, sugar, water, milk, colour & salt in a large heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil.

3. Remove from the heat and quickly beat in the flour with a wooden spoon. Return to the heat and continue beating until the mixture comes together and leaves the side of the pan.

4. Keep beating over low heat for 1–2 minutes to cook the flour. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

5. Transfer to a large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high to release the heat.

6. Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each addition, continue beating until the mixture is thick and glossy.

7. Lightly grease two oven trays with extra cold butter and then wipe off excess using paper towel. Using a 3cm circle cutter; dip top in flour and mark 5 rings spaced apart on one of the trays.

8. Use a 6cm round pastry cutter; dip top in flour and mark 5 rings spaced apart on the other trays.

9. Spoon choux mixture into a piping bag and pipe large and small balls of choux onto flour stencils on trays all the way to edge of stencils.

10. Place discs of sable a choux on top of piped choux balls.

11. Bake the small choux buns in oven for approx 16 minutes until golden and hollow when tapped and sable pastry has cracked on top.

12. Bake the large choux buns in oven for approx 25 minutes, then drop oven to 120C and cook for a further 6-8 minutes until hollow when tapped and sable pastry has cracked on top.

Pear Vanilla Creme Patissiere:
150g pear puree
150g apple juice
1 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
4 egg yolks
50g cornflour
75g caster sugar
20g butter, diced at room temperature

1. Place the pear puree, apple juice and vanilla in a saucepan until it just comes to the boil, remove from heat.

2. Combine egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a large bowl, whisk until combined and smooth.

3. Gradually whisk hot puree mixture into egg mixture. Return mixture to saucepan, and whisk continuously over medium-high heat until the custard is thick and flour is cooked out.

4. Transfer custard to a large bowl, cover closely with cling film to prevent a skin forming and place in blast chiller for 3 minutes. Remove from chiller and gradually whisk in butter. Cover closely with cling film and refrigerate until needed.

Pear Mousse:
80ml thickened cream
250g of the pear vanilla creme patissiere, reserve remaining mixture
180g mascarpone

Place cream in a small bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks. Place crème patissiere and mascarpone in a small bowl of electric mixer and beat until combined. Remove from mixer. Using a plastic spatula, gently fold cream into crème patissiere mixture. Spoon into a piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use. Spoon remaining crème patissiere into a separate piping bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pear Gel: (I didn't make this)
250g pear puree
20g caster sugar
7g of gelatine/agar

1. Place pear puree and sugar in a saucepan, cook over medium heat for 1 minute, whisk in gelatin and bring to nearing boiling, but do not allow it to boil.

2. Leave to cool, pour into a mould and leave to set in the fridge.

Green Chocolate Squares: (Ended up not making this either)
250g of white chocolate
Few drops of green colouring

1. Melt chocolate over double boiler then spread on baking sheet, and let it rest.

2. Carefully cut five 4cm x 4cm squares of chocolate using a knife, then peel chocolate square off the plastic strip.

Almond Crunch:
25g butter
50g dark chocolate 70%
210g streusel (recipe below)
75g almond praline (recipe below)
45g whole almond (toasted and crushed)
2 pinches sea salt

1. Melt chocolate and butter together in a bowl over simmering water. Remove bowl and add praline, almond and salt, mix well.

2. Place between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll to 4 mm-thick. Using a 7.5cm round cutter, cut out 5 discs.


2/3 cup flour, sifted
1/3 cup brown sugar
80g soft butter

Combine flour and brown sugar, then rub cold butter until crumbly.

Almond Praline:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup slivered almonds

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. Bring sugar and 2 tbsp water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl pan to dissolve sugar. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Boil until sugar turns light amber, about 7 minutes. Add almonds and salt; cook, stirring constantly, until almonds are toasted and caramel turns dark amber. Pour onto prepared sheet. Let cool completely.

To assemble:
1. Pipe pear crème patissiere into small choux balls without bursting the top, until choux bun is full and heavy.

2. Pipe pear mousse into large choux ball and fill until one third full, press in a pear gel and push up into bun without bursting the top of choux buns, pipe in more of the pear mousse to fill completely until choux bun is full and heavy.

3. Place almond crunch disc on a gold serving disc, top with a large filled choux bun using a little of the mouse to stick it down.

4. Place green marzipan disc on top of large choux bun.

5. Place a square of green chocolate, shiny side-up, on top of marzipan disc.

6. Place small choux ball on top of green chocolate square, using a little of the crème patissiere to stick it down.

7. Place candied almond on top of choux ball, stick with a small amount of crème patissiere.

I tweaked the recipe a fair bit, and assembled it differently from Adriano Zumbo's, as you can see above. Because my marzipan turned out a tad bit too wet, I threw it out. So instead of using the almond crunch as the base, I used it to hold my mini puff. And by then I was so tired, I didn't want to make the choc sheet, so yeah.

I know from the looks of it, it doesn't even look mind-blowing or anything like that. However, whilst it looks nothing like Zumbo's Pear Perfection, my little Imperfection is unique in its own too. No doubt, I was rather upset I couldn't replicate my idol's work but then again... Sometimes we strive so hard for perfection that we forget that imperfection is happiness. (:

I think I fared pretty well, no?

1 comment :

Deano said...

Nice work, check out my attempt at

Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)