8 pieces of puff pastry, 10x20cm, thawed
egg for brushing
150g / 5oz homemade almond paste [or ready-made marzipan]
4-5 ripe pears or peaches
90g / 3.5oz demerara sugar
2tsp ground cinnamon
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 handful slivered almonds
cold butter to slice on top of the flans
1. Preheat the oven to 200deg C.
2. Use a glass to mark 2 circles in each pastry sheet so you can gauge where to put your fruit. Use a fork to prick the surface of the circles.
3. Brush the pastry outside the circles with beaten egg.
4. Grate the almond paste and spread it inside the circles.
5. Core the pears or halve and stone the peaches. Slice the fruit thinly and mix with the demerara sugar, cinnamon and finely chopped rosemary.
6. Arrange the fruit on top of the almond paste in shape of a fan and sprinkle slivered almonds on top.
7. Put think slices of cold butter on top and bake the flans in the center of the oven for 20-25mins or until golden.
8. Dust the flans with icing sugar.
I used canned peaches and pears in heavy syrup for this, so I left out the demerara sugar. For the almond paste, all it is is caster sugar ground with almonds. I used ready-ground almonds for this without the sugar. I also chickened out at the last minute with the fresh rosemary because it reminded me too much of spaghetti bolognaise and I just couldn't see how it would meld with the other flavours. If you are more adventurous than I am, try it and tell me how it tastes! The canned fruit was sweet enough on its own, but if you're using fresh fruit don't forget the demerara sugar [which I imagine would caramelise beautifully in the oven] and caster sugar in the almond paste. Be careful with the butter because too much will make the pastry soggy.
They are wonderfully crunchy, flaky, juicy and sweet all in one. You could use any topping you prefer - applesauce, pears with chocolate, or berries as well as make them any size and shape you want. Enjoy!