A pudding as addictive as this is not for the abstemious nor for those who would eschew excesses of sugar and fat. This is phat….hot and tempting, dripping with butter and soft brown sugar, born out of a lasciviously lazy hunger which is an ideal genealogy for such a disgraceful dessert. I came upon this mongrel of a tatin by way of sucre vergeoise, a soft dark sugar for which I’m not sure of a replacement, which I used in a pineapple upside down cake that I had recently cooked The simplicity of melting sweet butter in a pan and mixing into it the thick soft brown sugar with a wooden spoon rather than waiting anxiously for the magic of caramelisation to happen, or not, was the first thing that attracted me to this temptress. Then came the ease of just laying the pears on top of the buttery sugar mixture, covering the lot with a sheet of ready made puff pastry and putting it into a hot oven. This is exactly what lazy hunger demands……and all that remains is to find something suitably lascivious with which to occupy oneself for the 35 minutes or so until the hot oven disgorges a glossy, sinful and impossibly moreish tart….one could try to only have one slice.
*apologies to the Rolling Stones for using this wonderful line
.Pear Tatin…..with a nod to upside down cake
4 Conference pears cut in half
20gms unsalted butter
140gms sucre vergoise ….this is a very soft sugar obtained from the sugar beet
which can be dark or light in colour. Replace with a moist brown sugar which pinches easily into lumps.
Packet of frozen puff pastry ….circular if using a tatin tin as I do.
Preheat oven to 200C. I use a pizza oven setting at 180C that creates a very hot oven cooking simultaneously on the top and bottom.
- Peel, core and halve the pears.
- Put the butter in the tatin tin over a medium heat until the butter is melted.
- Stir the brown sugar into the melted butter and take the pan off the heat.
- Place the pear halves in a circle in the buttery sugar, rounded side down.
- Lay the puff pastry over the pears, tucking the pastry in around the sides, and cut a couple of slits in the top of the pastry to let out steam.
- Put the tin in the preheated oven and cook for 30- 35 minutes or until the pastry is well browned and the juices have become thick and sticky.
- Turn out onto a plate being aware that there will be juices that may run over the edge of the plate.