I've spent the last few weeks at home thinking of ways to use up our giant 17lb bucket of plums (not even joking), so when I got to Dad's house in London and discovered their tree was full of pears that hadn't even been touched I just couldn't help myself. Cue climbing the pear tree in a mini skirt then spending the afternoon baking.
It looks super fancy and impressive, but it's the easiest thing ever and it barely costs anything to make. And it tastes SO. GOOD. Also the recipe is adapted from Mary Berry's apple tarte tatin recipe because it's really easy and she's amazing.
- block of puff pastry (you can make your own if you want but it's sooooo much effort)
- 175g granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cardamom pods
- 850g pears
- juice of 1 lemon
1. First, preheat your oven to 220°C. Then put the sugar in a saucepan along with 6tbsp water, the cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods. Stir on a low heat until the sugar's dissolved, then turn up the heat and STOP STIRRING. Seriously, do not touch that spoon. You're allowed to swirl the pan a bit, but no. spoons. Boil until it turns a 'golden straw colour', then take out the spices and pour into an oven-proof dish (a cake tin would work, just make sure it's deep enough).
2. Put the lemon juice into a bowl, then peel and thinly slice the pears and throw in with the lemon juice 'til you've prepared all of them (this'll stop them going brown, and it tastes nice too). Arrange the pear slices on top of the caramel and press down.
3. Roll out the pastry, then cut into a round slightly bigger than the tin. Cover the pears and tuck the pastry down the sides, then make a small slit in the top to allow steam out.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, then turn it out onto a plate and present to your amazed friends/family, before eating with lots of ice cream.
You may not have a fruit tree in your garden, but if you go to your nearest market you'll find that at the moment they have heaps of pears, apples, plums, blackberries, peaches, figs and more - so there's really no excuse. Think of your five a day! And try not to think about the sugar and pastry - just concentrate on the fruit.