Pear tarte Tatin


  • Serves 2 people

  • 90 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
  • 90 gm caster sugar
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 small Packham pears, peeled, halved and cores removed with a melon baller
  • 150 gm puff pastry
  • Vanilla Anglaise
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
01   For vanilla Anglaise, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Heat milk, cream and vanilla beans and seeds in a small heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to the boil. Gradually add milk to yolk mixture, whisking to combine, then return to a clean saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes or until custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl sitting over ice, stirring occasionally, until cool. Makes about 2 cups. Anglaise will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
02   Preheat oven to 190C. Evenly scatter butter over the base of a shallow 15cm frying pan (with an oven-proof handle), then scatter sugar and mixed spice. Cross vanilla bean halves, then arrange pears on top, cut-side up, placing a clove in each pear half.
03   On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 5mm thick and cut out a 15cm-diameter circle or a circle large enough to cover pears completely, then cover pears with pastry, tucking around pears. Place pan over medium heat, and as butter starts to melt spoon liquid over pastry. Cook for 5 minutes or until butter and sugar caramelises and is golden. Place pan in oven for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden. Remove from oven and spoon caramel over pastry. Place a serving plate on top of pan, invert plate and pan and turn tart out onto the plate – be careful as caramel will be very hot. Serve immediately with anglaise to the side.
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