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July 7, 2011

The long icy fingers of winter are strangling us in their grip, snow drifts are gathering on the mountain peaks, bone chilling wind drives the deluging rain into every crack and crevice so that there is no respite, angry lightning forks light up the dark grey moody skies, rumbling thunder rattles the windows and rafters, making the dog uneasy and causing her to bark threateningly up at whoever is disturbing her slumber. Hail has clattered down onto the rooftops, the cars and gardens, washing down the gutters and collecting in huge drifts of ice. Directly after a storm like this the temperature is at its icy lowest and we do whatever we can to keep warm. I don’t know about you but baking and cooking really helps me. Not only do I get to eat delicious nourishing (maybe not always) warming food but the heat from the oven and hob gently radiates through the house warming up the temperatures, steaming up the windown and making everything cosy. I LOVE winter for this reason. I love my kitchen and I am a baker at heart so colder temperatures suit me perfectly.

With beautiful pears and citrus in season and in full supply right now I have been using them a lot in different dishes. ClemenGolds are in full season and available exclusively through Woolworths Stores in South Africa (they will shortly be available in Europe as well. The ship is about to dock in Rotterdam as I type this I believe according to Captain ClemenGold 🙂 Grab these amazing citrus fruits while you can. The season is short and there just isnt anything else like them out there. I promise!! I hopped from one foot to the other for them to hit the shelves in Cape Town after I was introduced to them last season 🙂 and won a fabulous competition with them too! I recently made a beautiful tarte tatin, not using the usual apples, but using pears soaked in vodka and ClemenGold juice instead. It was so delicious and the inclusion of rosemary, cardamom and saffron was a bit of culinary genius – well my family think so and that what’s important isn’t it?






200g puff pastry – thawed if using store bought frozen

3-4 Firm Pears

6 green Cardamom Pods


6 -8 strands of Saffron


1 Sprig Rosemary – leaves only stripped from stalk and chopped finely

60g Granulated Sugar

Grated Zest from 1 ClemenGold

20ml Vodka

Juice from 1/2  ClemenGold (keep the rest for the Pistachio Creme Fraiche)

60g Butter – softened

You will need an 18cm ovenproof pan (it must be something that can go on the hob as well as in the oven)

  • Preheat the oven to 220C
  • Unroll the pastry on a lightly floured surface then fold the pastry in half  and give it a roll with the rolling pin to seal the two halves.
  • Using a sharp knife and the pan as a guide cut out a circle of pastry that is about 1cm larger in circumference than your pan
  • Lightly prick the pastry circle with a fork and then chill it while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
  • Lightly smash the cardamom pods then remove the seeds and discard the husks. Roast them briefly in a dry pan over high heat. Place the seeds in a pestle & mortar together with the rosemary, saffron, zest and the sugar and grind well
  • Using your fingers, press the softened butter into the base of the pan until it is evenly coated. 
  • Sprinkle the spiced citrussy sugar over the butter and set aside.
  • Peel each pear, cut it into 1/4 ‘s or 1/8’s. Remove the core.  I cut the pears in halves and left the cores intact as they looked pretty, dip each into the vodka mix 
  • Pack the pears in a tight circle in the pan, cut sides down and thin ends pointing towards the middle. Press the fruit lightly down into the butter and place pan over medium high heat on the hob.  If the pears shrink slightly as they cook, you may want to add some extra bits of pear cut to fit.
  • Keep a close eye on the pan and move it around if some areas seem to be browning faster than others.  It only takes a few minutes!
  • Once the sugar has caramelised to a medium brown remove from the heat and cool in the pan for about 10 minutes
  • Remove pastry circle from fridge and place over the pears, tucking the pastry down the sides of the pan (but be careful – the caramel will still be hot!)
  • Place on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until the pastry has puffed up and turned golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow the tart to rest for a few minutes. 
  • Then take a warmed serving plate, place it upside down over the pan and carefully invert the pan while keeping the plate firmly pressed to it.  Give it a good shake and the tarte tatin should slip out, caramelly juices and all. Put any pear bits that come unstuck back into place
  • Serve just warmer than room temperature with a dollop of pistachio crème fraîche




6 Tbs Crème Fraîche

50g Shelled Pistachios

20g Icing Sugar – sifted

Juice from 1/2 ClemenGold


Dry toast the pistachios in a pan on the hob until just lightly coloured then chop them finely

Stir the pistachios, juice and icing sugar into the crème fraîche then serve immediately alongside the pear tarte tatin


It is such a pleasure and very exciting to see how the awareness of eating sustainable, local and seasonal is growing amongst the foodies in my country.  Personally I think its even more important that organics. This is my entry into Tandy’s Regional and Seasonal Challenge using citrus!

I am recovering very slowly from my oral surgery. The pain is subsiding as is the swelling. The bruising is still very evident and I had some strange looks yesterday when I had to venture out to the specialist for a check up. Oh well… lovely hubby of 33 years was walking right beside me and holding my hand. I have to say that I long to eat real food. I am so tired of a liquid diet but must soldier on for a while longer. Thank you everyone of you who have been so supportive in so many ways. I love you and appreciate you all.

Have a great weekend, (its the end of Thursday already so I think I can excite you all and say that!!)

browniegirl xx

31 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2011 4:42 PM

    Wow!! Coleen, your baking talent and creativity stun me! Simply gorgeous! And drunken pears? Now this would warm me up in a flash! Oh how I love that inclement winter weather when baking can be done and food like this eaten with pleasure! xoxo

    • July 7, 2011 4:45 PM

      Thank you so much Jamie, I take that as a lovely compliment coming from you!! Much love and well done on completing your amazing bike journey!! xxx

  2. July 7, 2011 4:48 PM

    mmm … I’m going to try this using the ClemenGold liqueur I’m making. Would prefer to cook in the summer though, I don’t like winter at all!
    Love you xxx

    • July 7, 2011 4:58 PM

      HAHA! Great minds girl. We are not good friends for nothing. I also have an awesome liqueur steeping at the moment 🙂 xxxx

  3. July 7, 2011 5:05 PM

    Winter? Really? Well, no matter, this appeals to me now…in the heat of our summer! I love the use of the rosemary; I’ve been more and more inclined to include it in something other than pasta for the past year and this sure fits that bill. Lovely dish. Lovely photos.

    • July 7, 2011 8:31 PM

      Hey Barb yes, southern hemisphere deep into winter and winter cooking and eating 🙂 I too love baking with rosemary. It is delicious chopped up into shortbread cookies as well….And in a buttery cheese and rosemary biscuit to eat with meats and pates and stuff. YUM!! Thank you for the lovely comments I appreciate them xx

  4. Handsome Harold permalink
    July 7, 2011 5:20 PM

    time to update that profile pic, methinks……..

  5. July 7, 2011 5:25 PM

    It looks quite beautiful Colly! 🙂

  6. July 7, 2011 5:35 PM

    Yet another stunner – oh my goodness Colly what would we do without this kind of inspiration from you. Must admit, you have me addicted to Clemengolds. What am I to do when the season is over! Luv Mxx

    • July 7, 2011 8:44 PM

      What a lovely compliment from you Michael, thank you!! I don’t know what i will do when they dry up!! I cant bear the thought. Hugs and Luv, xxx

    • July 8, 2011 9:08 AM

      Michael, you are our kind of guy!

  7. July 7, 2011 7:11 PM

    Looks wonderful, Colleen – I love the pear and cardamom combination and rosemary is always a favourite – steaming up those windows has never been so tasty!

    • July 7, 2011 8:46 PM

      Thanks Kit, THis was a stunner of a dessert. Just the right balance of flavours. And pretty enough to serve to your own family or dinner guests. We served it with a swirl of vanilla bean ice cream. xx

  8. pinkpolkadotfood permalink
    July 7, 2011 8:16 PM

    Wow, Brownie!! This looks wonderful!!

    • July 7, 2011 8:47 PM

      Thankyou my Polkie friend. Appreciate your visit and comment. Have a great weekend. One weekend I will surprise you and start doing your quizzes again 🙂 Its been awhile xx

  9. July 8, 2011 2:22 AM

    *swoon* – I LOVE tarte tatin and cardamom is such a fabulous combination with pears. Too gorgeous! Wonder if I can find Clemengolds here in London?? ;o)

    • July 8, 2011 11:30 AM

      Hehe, thought it might appeal to you Jeanne. Its a fabulous combination of flavours for sure. You should be able to get the ClemenGolds soon soon in your shops. So far Asda, Costco and Tesco will stock them I believe 🙂 xx

  10. July 8, 2011 8:09 AM

    Oh Colleen, this looks like comfort food and I think you should save a slice for me! Thanks for taking part in the challenge 🙂

    • July 8, 2011 11:32 AM

      Sowweeeee Tandy….all gone!! With local seasonal citrus like ClemenGold around its a pleasure entering a challenge like yours xx

  11. July 8, 2011 9:07 AM

    Colleen, you are a blue blood ClemenGolder! Thanks so much for putting your beautiful energy behind our ClemenGold passion. Don’t tease the Captain too much – he had a bit too much rum last night – Captian Pickles today!

    • July 8, 2011 11:33 AM

      LOL!! Nothing that a bit of ClemenGold juice wont cure eh?? I might be a blueblood ClemenGolder but my blood runs bright orange 🙂 Thank you Michelle. Am having so much fun with my ClemenGolds. They chase the winter blues clear away xx

  12. July 11, 2011 12:07 PM

    Your a brilliant baker lovely, this looks amazing. So deliciously sweet, caramelized goodness. 🙂 mmmmmmm! I remember having an absolute disaster when I made Tarte Tatin as an apprentice and honestly Ive never gone back to try again. baking frightens me a little. Im inspired to try again. Thank you!

    • July 15, 2011 11:17 AM

      Thank you for the compliment Anna! I prefer baking to cooking really. Do try it again. Its so stunning to be able to make tarte tatin and you can do so much with it. Savoury and sweet 🙂 There are no limits except for your imagination. Let me know if you do try it xxx

  13. July 12, 2011 10:55 PM

    Yummy! What a fabulous recipe Colleen. The ‘summer’ in London is more like the winter in Cape Town so I might be making this rather soon and rather unseasonally! x

    • July 15, 2011 11:20 AM

      Hehe thank you Hannah. Good to see you, I have heard rumblings from over on mud island that the summer is not up to scratch. Hope you try my tarte tatin. It will comfort and warm you up 🙂 xx

  14. July 13, 2011 4:26 PM

    Wow this looks good! Especially love the hit of spices with the cardamom & saffron.

    • July 15, 2011 11:21 AM

      Thanks Marisa, the spices were a lovely combination. Hope you and minime are doing well 🙂 Have a good weekend xx

  15. April 5, 2013 5:13 AM

    Now this is fantastic. Wow Colleen you really know how to bake and bring flavors together


  1. Something Savoury « Lavender and Lime

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