Tom Kemble Portrait1

Tom Kemble, Head Chef at Bonhams Restaurant

Tom Kemble started training as a chef after completing a degree at Nottingham University in History of Art.

Having worked with Magnus Nilsson at Faviken in northern Sweden and Mikael Jonsson at Hedone in West London, he was appointed Head Chef at Bonhams restaurant at the age of 32.

The restaurant, which opened in January 2015, was awarded a Michelin star in September.

Tom takes a natural approach to dishes, cooking instinctively and sensitively with exceptional produce in peak condition resulting in elegant and refined dishes.

Pear and Almond Tart Paired with Kilchoman 100% Islay

The perfect recipe to celebrate Burns Night on 25th January!

There are a few elements in creating this lovely dessert but it is definitely worth the effort. I like to eat a slice of this soon after it is out of the oven with some unpasteurised crème fraiche. A perfect partner to the fragrant Williams pear.

Use a 10inch fluted non-stick tart case, which will give you eight generous portions. First make the sweet pastry. Any excess can be rolled flat and frozen down.

Sweet Pastry

  • 270g butter, unsalted
  • 170g Icing Sugar
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 4g salt
  • 90g egg yolk
  • 460g soft white flour

You can make the pastry either in a kitchen aid with a paddle attachment or by hand

  • Sieve the flour, salt and icing sugar into the bowl and add the ground almonds.
  • Dice the butter into small cubes and add it to the bowl
  • Incorporate the butter, using either the paddle on a slow speed or your hands so that the butter creates a fine crumble.
  • Then add the egg yolks and mix until everything comes together into a dough
  • Work the dough briefly and then roll down in to a slab. Cling film and refrigerate.
  • Leave the dough to rets for at least 2 hours
  • Roll the dough to around 5mm and into the pastry tin.


My favourite variety for this tart is the fragrant Williams pear. Commice and Passe Crassane would also work well.

  • Peel the pears, cut in half lengthwise and remove the core (The best tool for this is a melon baller but a teaspoon would work)
  • Add the pears to the hot liquid and bring back up to the boil. Cut a circle of parchment paper to cover the pears and simmer gently for 20 minutes
  • When the pears are cooked, take them off the heat and leave to cool down gently in their poaching liquid. Then store in the fridge

Poaching Liquid for Pears

  • 750ml water
  • 250ml white wine
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Juice the lemon, split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds out
  • Put the vanilla pod, seeds, lemon juice, water and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil

Pastry Cream

  • 250ml whole milk
  • 1.5 Vanilla pod
  • 50g egg yolks
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 25g corn flour


  • Heat milk and infuse with a scraped vanilla pod
  • Whisk egg yolks and sugar together and add the infused milk into a sauce pan
  • Using a whisk, stir the mixture and add the corn flour
  • Cook the pastry cream out on a low heat for 10 minutes and stir regularly with the whisk. The cream should be glossy
  • Pour onto a tray and chill in the fridge


  • 250g butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 50g soft flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 350g pastry cream


  • Cut the butter into small pieces and leave at room temperature to soften
  • Sieve the icing sugar over the butter and cream using a whisk
  • Add the flour, almonds and egg
  • Loosen the pastry cream and add to the mixture

Making the tarte

  • Spread the frangipane into the tart case using a spatula and fill to about 2/3rds.
  • Drain the pears from the poaching liquid and place on the tart. Try to fit 8 slices of pear onto the tart.
  • Bake at 170C for 50 mins

Leave to rest for 30 minutes and then serve with a glass of Kilchoman 100% Islay!

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