Pear and Vanilla Tarte Tatin
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 8
Tarte Tatin is a sweet, sticky and delicious dessert but the best thing about it is its versatility. Here is a pear and vanilla version.
  • For the pears
  • 4 pears - peeled
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 170g butter
  • 400ml water
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • For the pastry
  • 200g plain flour
  • 125g butter
  • about 2-3tbsp cold water
  • For the caramel
  • 100g sugar
  • 50g butter
  1. Start by preparing the poaching liquid. Heat the sugar in a saucepan until it turns into a dark caramel. Then add the butter in small amounts until all melted.
  2. Add the water and add the lemon, star anise and vanilla pod (slice the vanilla pod in half first).
  3. Bring to a very slow simmer and leave for about 30mins. Then strain the liquid and return to the heat.
  4. Add the pears and cook until just soft and then allow to cool in the liquid to soak up all the flavours.
  5. Once cooled take the pears out of the liquid, half them and take out the core.
  6. To begin the pastry, add small cubes of cold butter to the plain flour, and then use a knife to cut through and break up the lumps of butter, before binding it together with the cold water (you may need more or less, but just enough to bind it all together).
  7. Once the dough comes together you then roll it into a long thin piece before folding it into thirds; bringing the top third down onto the second third and the bottom third over the top third. You then repeat the rolling and folding 3-4 times to trap air into the pastry. You should always take care to roll away from you to avoid squashing the bubbles you have worked so hard to create. Once it has been rolled and folded to your desired specification, it should be rested in the fridge for 30mins
  8. Next, in an ovenproof frying pan (about 20cm diameter), melt the sugar to make a caramel and then add the butter. Once melted, add the pears to the pan with the core side facing up.
  9. Roll out the pastry to a circle a little larger than the frying pan. Then place the pastry over the pears and tuck it in between the pears and the edge of the frying pan.
  10. Place in a preheated oven at 180C and cook for about 30mins or until the pastry is brown and crisp.
  11. Take the pan out of the oven and allow to cool for 10mins. Then find a plate which will fit neatly inside the pan. Place it on top of the pastry and then turn the whole lot upside down so that the tart sits on the plate with the pears facing up and the pastry on the bottom.
  12. Serve with cream, ice cream or custard.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at