The last few weeks have been hot and the last thing that I have felt like doing us using the oven more than is absolutely necessary.
We have had a storm which has brought a cooler change so I am in the mood for using the oven and this recipe is a favourite of both mine and FB..
Pear Tarte Tatin
100g caster sugar
2 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 large cinnamon stick
2 tbsp brandy
500g block all-butter puff pastry
Core the pears, then peel as neatly as possible and halve. If you like, they can be prepared up to a day ahead and
kept in the fridge, uncovered, so that they dry out.
the sugar, butter, star anise, cardamom and cinnamon into an ovenproof
frying pan, about 20cm wide,
and place over a high heat until bubbling. Shake the pan and stir the
buttery sauce until it separates and the sugar caramelises to a toffee
the pears in the pan, then cook in the sauce for 10-12 mins, tossing
occasionally, until completely
caramelised. Don’t worry about them burning – they won’t – but you want
to caramelise them as much as possible. Splash in the brandy and let it
flambé, then set the pears aside.
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a plate slightly larger
than the top of the pan, cut out a circle, then press the edges of the circle of pastry to thin them out.
the pears have cooled slightly, arrange them in the pan, cut side up,
in a floral shape, with the pears around the edge pointing inwards. Rest
the cinnamon stick on the top in the centre, with the cardamom pods
the pastry over the pears, then tuck the edges down the pan sides and
under the fruit (see Gordon’s guide). Pierce the pastry a few times,
then bake for 15 mins. If a lot of juice bubbles up the side of the pan,
pour it off at this stage (see guide). Reduce oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas
4 and bake for 15 mins more until the pastry is golden. Leave the tart
to stand for 10 mins, then invert it carefully onto a serving dish.