Although this dessert is deliciously, hot melted sugar is a key ingredient, which is not a good dish to make with children around.
Serves: 8 people
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
- Peel and core the pears, then cut into quarters along their length. Set aside.
- Put the caster sugar in a 23cm to 26cm ovenproof pan and place over a medium-high heat. As the sugar starts to caramelise, swirl the pan to mix the caramel with the rest of the sugar. Don’t be tempted to stir it or the sugar won’t caramelise. When the caramel reaches a deep golden colour, take the pan off the heat and add the diced butter. Swirl again to mix, being careful of the butter spattering.
- Add the pears to the caramel, put the pan back on the heat and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes to cook the pears, reducing the heat a little if necessary. Set aside for 5 minutes for the caramel to cool before arranging the pears in a floral pattern.
- Roll out the pastry until it’s 3mm to 4mm thick. Using a large plate or bowl and a sharp knife, cut out a circle that’s 3cm to 4cm larger than the pan. Prick the surface with a fork and lift it onto the pears, tucking the excess pastry in around the fruit.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, until the caramel has cooled and thickened. Being careful to protect your hands and wrists with a tea towel, place a plate large enough to fit the tart on top of the pan and quickly flip it over. Lift the pan gently off the tart. If any pieces have been dislodged, rearrange them into a nice pattern. Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.