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Recipe

Pear tarte Tatin

A tarte Tatin is fast, simple and always a pleasure to eat. For this pear version, we’ve poached the pears quickly to infuse them with flavour, and to help soften any that are underripe. Enjoy for a sweet and indulgent dessert.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Ingredients

  • 2 sheets butter puff pastry
  • 65 g caster sugar
  • 40 g butter, coarsely chopped
  • Cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve
Poached pears
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 3 thin strips orange rind
  • 500 ml water
  • 4 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and halved

Method

  • 1
    For pears, combine sugar, orange rind and water in a pan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium, add pears and simmer until pears are infused and very slightly softened (5 minutes). Remove pears and pat completely dry with paper towels.
  • 2
    Roll out pastry to a rough 25cm round, then trim to a 22cm round. Chill in fridge until needed.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 200°C.
  • 4
    Scatter sugar over the base of a heavy, 20cm-wide ovenproof frying pan and cook over high heat until sugar begins to dissolve and caramelise around edges (1-2 minutes; don't stir at any point). Swirl pan occasionally until sugar caramelises (1-2 minutes). Add butter, swirl to combine (20-30 seconds), then turn off heat and arrange pears, cut-side up, over caramel. Cover with the pastry, then quickly tuck edges into the side of the pan with a spoon.
  • 5
    Score pastry 2-3 times in centre for steam to escape. Bake until pastry is crisp, dark golden and puffed (15-20 minutes; cover with foil if pastry is becoming too dark on top).
  • 6
    Remove pan from oven and tilt to drain extra juices carefully into a bowl. Stand for 2 minutes, then place a large plate on top of the pan and shake to loosen tart. Working quickly and very carefully, protecting yourself from the hot handle and the hot caramel, invert the tart onto the plate.
  • 7
    Serve hot with reserved juices and cream or ice cream with extra caramel (scraped from pan) to drizzle over.

Notes

Poaching the pears ahead will make this even easier to throw together; just keep them in the fridge out of the syrup. Either way, it's important the pears are dried well before they're added to the caramel – excess liquid will dilute it.

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