Pear Tarte Tatin (French Inspired)

To celebrate my son’s birthday on Sunday I was inspired to bake, I have not had the opportunity to make sweets for a little while.  I know that he loves cake made with fresh seasonal fruit. This classic French dessert is an upside-down pastry in which the fruit is caramelised in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. Over the years this recipe has spread to other countries where other varieties of seasonal fruit can be used.

4 large firm pears (Bosc Pear)
110 g butter (chopped)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
160 ml cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon

200 g plain flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
110 g butter (chopped)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Preparation Time:     20 minutes (plus refrigeration time)
Cooking Time:     1 hour 15 minutes (plus cooling time)
Serves:     8 – 10 people (Approximately)

Preheat oven to 200ºC fan forced.  Use a 22 cm round cake pan.

  1. For the pastry blend or process flour, icing sugar and butter until mixture is crumbly.  Add egg yolk and the water, process until ingredients just come together.  Enclose in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Peel and core pears, cut lengthways into quarters.
  3. Melt butter with brown sugar in large frying pan.  Add cream, cinnamon, stirring until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil.  Add pear, reduce heat, simmer turning occasionally, about 20-30 minutes or until tender.
  4. Place pear, round side down in the cake pan, pour caramelised pan liquid over pear.
  5. Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until slightly larger than circumference of pan.  Remove top paper, tuck pastry between pears and side of pan.
  6. Bake tarte tatin for about 25 minutes or until pastry is browned lightly.  Cool for 10 minutes, turn tarte onto serving plate and serve with whipped cream.

Cook’s Tips

Avoid using a spring-form pan the caramelised liquid will ooze out and it will dry out the tarte tatin.  A round sealed cake pan is best.

When simmering the pear in the caramel mixture ensure the fruit is tender and not too soft.

For this recipe I used Bosc Pears however, feel free to use other varieties that are firm and in season.


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