I have always LOVED tarte tatin. A simple and amazingly sweet blend of fruit and pastry. Sweet and caramelised pears atop of a flaky, crunchy pastry. Much easier to make than you’d think it’s a great dinner party spectacular that can be prepared ahead and popped into the oven as and when. When it’s turned out, it’s guaranteed a ripple of applause and with the first mouthful guaranteed a sigh of pleasure from everyone involved in its eating.
Serves 2 (I suppose).
50g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
3 medium pears (peeled, cored and quartered lengthways)
2 star anise
pinch cinnamon powder
1 frozen puff pastry sheet (half thawed)
In a small oven proof frying pan (about 15m width), heat the sugar and butter over a moderate/high heat, shaking the pan until bubbling and turning golden brown. Add the star anise, cinnamon and pears in one layer and shake pan to coat. The sugar and butter may separate. Worry not, it’ll all be fine. Let the pears cook for 10 minutes, shaking occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200ºC
Using a plate that is slightly larger than the frying pan, cut a circle from the pastry.
Arrange the pears in the pan, outer edge facing down. Place the pastry over the pears and carefully tuck it around the edges into the pan. Prick the top a few times then place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up.
Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a large plate over the pan and carefully invert the pan onto the plate. Scrape any syrup from the pan and spoon over the tarte.
Serve with a spoonful of cream or mascarpone.