Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Monday, 11 January 2010

Pear and Walnut Galettes

Makes 8 galettes Preparation time 30 minutes, cooking time 15 – 20 minutes

100g/3½oz walnuts

85g/3oz butter, plus extra for greasing

85g/3oz icing sugar

45g/1½oz self raising flour, plus extra for dusting

1 egg

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp vanilla essence

500g/1lb1½oz puff pastry

3 ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced

1 tbsp apricot jam

Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180C/350F and grease two baking trays with butter. Soak the pear slices in the juice of one lemon to prevent discolouration. Place the walnuts in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add the butter, icing sugar, flour, egg, lemon zest and vanilla to the processor and blitz to form a smooth paste. Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to ¼ cm thickness, cut out 13cm/5in circles and transfer to the baking tray. Using a sharp knife, score in inner circle on each pastry disk about 1cm from the edge, taking care not to cut all the way through. Place a large spoonful of the nut butter in the centre of each pastry circle and spread out using a knife. Top each with pear slices in a circle. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar and bake in the oven for 18 - 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the pears are cooked. Remove the tarts from the oven and allow to cool. Heat the juice of the remaining lemon in a saucepan with the apricot jam until the jam has dissolved. Use a pastry brush to brush the apricot over each tart to glaze.