pear tarte tatin

theres something to be said for caramelised pears wrapped in puff pastry, coated in sugar, dripping with butter. its been going since 1898 (yes, the same year the vienna university of economics and business administration was founded under the name K.U.K exportakademie…a very good year) and though its been tried and tested, its never tired and it never fails. its fantastic for those who, much like the tatin sisters, have kitchen based experiences which so often end in chaos, confusion and catastrophe. you might wonder what a 112 year old dish is doing on this highly modern website. the answer is twofold – fold a) 10 sheets of puff pastry and nothing to do and fold b) its a classic…and according to the iranian latte set, it seems to be making a come back. try it -with apples, or plums or pears…anything that goes well with butter and sugar, so the scope is infinite.


5 william pears

90g butter

90g caster sugar

2 vanilla beans

1 sheet all butter puff pastry (rolled out to about 20cm diameter)

nb. you will need a frying pan with an oven proof handle. or a boy who takes things apart to make them better and/or different(ly better), who is able to unscrew the pre-existing non-oven proof frying pan handle.

preheat the oven to 190 degrees. in frying pan scatter the butter and the sugar. cross the vanilla beans (which should have already been split and scraped with their vanilla gold dust removed and set aside).

peel, core and cut the pears in half. they might need a squeeze of lemon to stop them oxidizing (big word for a little blog).

then put the pan onto a low heat and melt the butter with the sugar and vanilla.

next add the pears

…oops. add them cut side up. please.

then cover these with your puff pastry and tuck in the edges around the pears…as if tucking then into bed – a glorious, if not hazardous bed, of butter and sugar.

as the butter and sugar melts, spoon the liquid over the pastry. cook for 5 minutes until the sugar caramelises and goes a golden colour.

put the pan in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

remove from the oven, spoon the caramel over the pastry. then place a large plate on top of the pan and flip it. caramel is very hot. and we have already been burned once this week so try to find a more competent person to aid you here. maybe the same clever boy who de-handled your pan. he seems to know what he’s doing.

if people around you have suddenly decided to go on a diet…then take this tart elsewhere. (old men are good for this – they seem to have, in some ways, given up and therefore given in and will be excellent and willing recipients of any excess baked/caramelised goods presented to them.)


27 Responses to “pear tarte tatin”

  1. 1 JJ April 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    There are only two things I want right now. This is one.

  2. 2 JJ April 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    And I’ve been meaning to compliment your photographer. It all looks so good.

    • 3 matthieu April 17, 2010 at 10:47 am

      thank you, its fun to take photos of this malarky, as cooking remains a foreign and odd thing to do with ones time.

  3. 4 schlepseleh April 16, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    is the other thing trapped in a continent covered with volcanic ash?

  4. 6 jo April 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    to paraphrase the immortal words of Shane’s friend Patrick, ICELAND WTF?

    moon i’m glad you’re not around- one of the first things i thought, post natural disaster, was, if moon were to fly about near this mayhem, not only may it cause the plane to crash, it could wreak absolute havoc with your asthma.

    ON the upside, this pear business posted here is going to see nyc’s puff pastry sales go through the roof.

    and it will save me from using the extra sheets to make mum’s sausage rolls, beef wellington and ‘apple pie’- the 3 main reasons i have a deep seated fear and resentment of puff pastry.

    hi mum!

  5. 8 JJ April 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    yes. it looks like i have to go save her from the ejyalkdjflsajdf volcano myself. i will not stand for this much longer.

    • 9 schlepseleh April 17, 2010 at 12:42 am

      in the immortal words of miranda (in the sex and the city season finale) to big as he rushes off to save carrie from a life of loneliness with alexsandr petrovsky…”go get our girl”

  6. 10 Smoo April 16, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Mmmmmmmm Yummmmmm

    Must put some pears and puff pastry on the shopping list. Do you insist on butter puff pastry or are you more liberal?

    And surely Chicken Tarragon should also cop a mention in the general “puff misuse” category. Sigh. So many bars whose heights need to be raised. Which Fasting at the Banquet is encouraging very creatively. Thanks

  7. 11 Smoo April 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Oops Just read the clear “all butter puff” instruction. Could explain my previous lack of success. I shall adjust my shopping list accordingly….

    • 12 schlepseleh April 17, 2010 at 12:38 am

      i was just speaking of your shopping list the other day when, as usual, i went to the fridge and found no butter. i says “snows mum always has at least 3 sticks of butter. always.” i never understood how you knew, seemingly intuitively, the minimum butter stock requirements for the week but it always left me in awe. another bar to raise and i hope one day to have the same stock maintenance level of 3C and never be without a stick of butter in my fridge. yours is an operation run smoothly and efficiently and with great aplomb – i raise my chefs hat to you. thank you for your comments and dont listen to snow…shes only being ungrateful because shes tired, cranky and probably needs the nutrients you can only get from a good sausage roll.

  8. 13 jo April 17, 2010 at 8:35 am

    hi everybody!

    well snow i’m happy to be 12th man on this innings.

    how did matt manage to get eine kleine elevator musik on this thing? can you buy advertising space??

    if so, i’d like to promote my king kapisi jazz tribute band side-project. please let me know where to send my credit card details.

    and in the meantime, can someone please get me home?

  9. 14 matthieu April 17, 2010 at 9:40 am

    well you can always talk to one of the members of the growing UK fan base for ol’ miss schlepseleh, im sure they can whisk you up a hearty bowl of ‘dunkirk spirit’. Advertising here is very expensive, im not sure of the rates but they are tenfold.

  10. 15 FW April 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Where do you keep the supply of old men? You imply they are necessary at the pointy end of this one. If the pantry is as bereft of them as it occasionally can be of butter sticks, can you suggest an acceptable alternative?
    Your picture spread looks good enough to eat.(Coincidentally I’m doing that with what looked like an exact replica. Which would have been good enough to photograph.)FW

    • 16 Matthieu April 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      Wouldn’t it though.

    • 17 schlepseleh April 17, 2010 at 10:07 pm

      sadly, they are by nature, always on hand…pottering around, walking from one room to another, standing still momentarily and walking slowly back. if it seems at first glance, they are absent, it is more than likely they are hovering around the mail box waiting for mail that already came. alternatively they might be found enjoying an arnotts cheese board selection and on rare desperate occasions, rocking back and forth, clutching a box of savoys close to their ample bosom to guard against dry biscuit thieves…who are legion.
      p.s. very happy to hear you liked the tart…until it was violently clutched from your clammy hands and disposed of. its nice to know there is someone who appreciates what i do…because i suffer for my art.

  11. 18 jo April 18, 2010 at 10:00 am

    suffering feeds your art, moonlight.

    also, on hot days, old men may be located simply sitting under a tree in the backyard.

    it is also probable that they drink alone in the evening, potter incessantly around their infinitely more interesting progeny (occasionally half-heartedly attempting to meddle in their lives), and in some extreme cases have been known to polish off an entire mixed tea biscuits selection in a couple of hours.

    which, when they could be eating pear tarte tin, simply begs the question- ‘why?’.

  12. 19 Mick.....NON-petit April 18, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Yes, just why do those unfortunate creatures succumb to the lure of Home brand family assorted?…I have a theory that the cause may have arisen from a misplaced faith in the Culinary output of said progeny; the total absence of pear tarte tatin from said progeny’s output, has left these poor old fellows so gastronomically disoriented that in their confusion they cling to whatever was closest at hand, none other than the old “family assorted”.
    The dear old things live on in hope!

  13. 24 Matthieu April 20, 2010 at 12:01 am

    yes and with raised plastic sporks they will come marching towards me and burn me at the steak, tartare, medium rare.

  14. 26 Chef Dennis April 26, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Great Recipe and Beautiful photos….Very well written and it tarte looks delicious!!

  1. 1 Random Acts of Elevator Music Trackback on April 17, 2010 at 12:21 am

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