Margaret's (my wife's) birthday occurs on the first of January.
This year, I decided to make her a pie rather than a cake. The pie is one of our favourite -pear in a short crust where ground almonds are subsisted for about half the flour. Although it is a favourite, it is about 5 years since either of us has made it. About a week ago Margaret was fondly recalling the last time we had had the pie. I decided right then to surprise her with one on her birthday.
The ingredients for the crust -flour, sugar, egg yolks, butter, and ground almonds are placed on the board, then gently mixed by hand.
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It's kind of messy, but effective.
While the crust was refrigerating for about an hour, I quartered the 3 pears and soaked them in a mixture of orange juice, orange rind, and brandy.
The top crust broke apart while I was placing it over the pears, and I took advantage of this to snap a photo of the half covered pears.
Here is the baked pie with some dollops of double cream placed in the middle and candles aflame about to be presented to Margaret.
She was suitably surprised (and happy).