Delicious recipe for dessert.
1 x 375g sheet all-butter puff pastry
plain flour, to dust
55g soft unsalted butter
100g golden caster sugar
9 pears (we used Conference)
2 tsp juniper berries
crème fraîche or fromage frais, to serve
- Unroll the pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface then roll out thinner to a square. Using a plate that is slightly larger than the top of your pan as a template, cut out a circle of pastry. Chill on a baking tray while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Cut the butter into small cubes and scatter into an 18cm base diameter tarte tatin pan (or ovenproof frying pan). Sprinkle in the sugar.
- Next, peel the pears, cut them in half and scoop out the cores with a teaspoon or melon baller. Put the pan of butter and sugar over a medium-high heat. Watch the pan carefully at this stage, moving it around if one area is browning faster than another, and shaking the pan rather than stirring. Once the sugar has caramelised, remove from the heat. Lightly squash the juniper berries with the back of a spoon (without breaking them up) and scatter into the caramel.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7.
- Tightly pack the pears in a circle in the pan of caramel, with their more attractive rounded sides downwards. Slightly overlap the pears at an angle in order to pack as many in as you can. Place the pan back on a medium-high heat and cook for a good 15 minutes or until the pears are getting nicely caramelised underneath. The pears will shrink slightly as they cook – do not be afraid to add another slice or two to the tarte.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Now press the pastry circle on to the pears, tucking the edges down the side of the pan, then transfer the pan to a baking tray in the centre of the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is a beautiful golden colour and well risen. Do not worry if some of the caramelised juices bubble out. Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Then take a warm serving plate, press against the pastry and invert the pan, giving it a good shake. The tart should slip out, juices and all. Serve with lots of crème fraîche or fromage frais.