Make it easy with Marcus Wareing: Pear and star anise tarte Tatin

Give your meals the Michelin-star touch with these sophisticated yet surprisingly simple recipes from the new cookbook by Marcus Wareing

This is one of the best desserts to come out of France. Whether it’s made with pear, apple or banana, a tarte Tatin just cannot be beaten. 

It’s got to be oozing with fruit, it’s got to be oozing with caramel, it’s got to be piping hot and it’s got to have crunchy puff pastry. It takes some practice, but is very satisfying when you get it right. 

For this recipe, I suggest using Conference pears, as they are a little firmer than other varieties – even so, I recommend drying them out for 3 days.

A pear and star anise tarte Tatin is one of the best desserts to come out of France says Marcus Wareing

A pear and star anise tarte Tatin is one of the best desserts to come out of France says Marcus Wareing

Serves 4-6

  • 5-6 large or 8 small Conference pears
  • 100g (3½oz) cold butter
  • 1 x 320g sheet of ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
  • 100g (3½oz) caster sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • Ice cream, to serve

Peel, quarter and core the pears, and leave them in the fridge for 3 days, so they dry out a little.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. Remove the butter from the fridge to allow it to soften slightly. 

Unroll the puff pastry sheet and cut it into a 24cm-diameter circle (or the same size or a little larger than the top diameter of the frying pan you use in the next step). Place the pastry back on its baking parchment and refrigerate.

Spread and squash the slightly softened butter in an even layer all over the base of a 20cm-diameter ovenproof pan. Add the sugar and swirl the pan to distribute evenly. Grate the star anise into the sugar.

Place the first piece of pear into the sugared butter, with the base at the edge of the pan and the tip pointing towards the middle, then lay the rest of the pear pieces in the pan, covering each other like fallen dominoes, placing them around the outer part of the pan.

Place the pan over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, until the butter and sugar begin to bubble and a golden caramel begins to form, then remove the pastry from the fridge and place it on top of the pears. 

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and golden.

Remove the tarte Tatin from the oven and leave it to rest for 5-7 minutes. Place a serving plate on top of the frying pan, then flip the entire pan over – the tarte Tatin should slip gracefully onto the plate, ready to be sliced. Serve with ice cream.



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