Pear Tart

This delicious upside down dessert is a variation on the classic French tarte tatin, which is made with apples.  To turn out the tart, place an upside-down serving plate on top of the pastry then quickly invert the tart on to the plate – take care as there will be hot caramel and juices in the base of the pan.  Serve with creme fraiche or vanilla custard.

Serves:  6;  Time to prepare:  20 mins, plus chilling; Time to cook: 40 mins; Cals per portion: 485

Ingredients:  275g (10oz) plain flour; 10ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon; 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, chilled; 105ml (7tbsp) caster sugar; 2 medium egg yolks; 3 firm pears

  • To make the pastry, sift the flour, ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt into a large bowl.  Dice 150g (5oz) of the butter and rub it into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in 45ml (3 tbsp) of the caster sugar.
  • Add egg yolks and 15-30ml (1-2tbsp) ice-cold water and mix to a soft dough.  Turn out on to a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth.  Wrap and chill for 30 mins.  Meanwhile, peel and core the pears and cut each lengthways into thick slices.
  • Heat the remaining butter and sugar in a 23cm (9in) round, ovenproof, shallow pan until the sugar has dissolved.  Arrange the pear slices in the pan, trimming the last one to fit the centre.  Then cook over a moderate heat for 10 mins.
  • Roll out pastry to a circle just larger than the pan and drape over the top of the pears.  Fold in surplus pastry edge.  Bake at 200oC / 400oF / Gas 6 for 30 mins until pastry is golden brown.  To serve, carefully turn the pear tart out on to a warmed plate.
  • Tip:  If you don’t have an ovenproof pan, cook the butter, sugar and pears in a frying pan, then transfer to a lightly buttered cake tin

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