Again, I was seduced by the picture accompanying Dan Lepard's recipe in the Guardian Weekend Magazine two weeks ago. This time, though, the product did not fulfill the promise. It was a pleasant enough dessert, but all three of us felt that there was no WOW! factor - the pears were very delicate in flavour, the chocolate crumble wasn't strongly flavoured, the caramel was diluted by the pear juice during cooking.
The only difficult part of the recipe was trying to roll out the pastry enough to fit a 23cm deep fluted flan tin. There was barely enough, and it was very thin in places. During blind baking it slumped around the sides, showing that I'd had to stretch and patch it to fill the tin. I'd recommend using a 20cm tin or pie dish, and maybe weighing out 275g of the initial mixture to make the pastry, rather than 250g. The finished dessert would have looked better in a smaller tin too, as there would have been a deeper layer of fruit.
When I put the crumble mix onto the tart, I squeezed it between my fingers, then crumbled the resulting lump of dough over the pears, to ensure there was some texture, as the crumble mix looked very powdery.
I served the tart at room temperature with Chantilly cream.
Maybe I'm being too harsh in saying the tart was not an outstanding dessert; perhaps our love of really rich chocolate desserts blinded us to the subtleties of the flavours - you might find it perfectly delightful!