- Serves 4
- 15 mins to prepare and 35 mins to cook, 10 mins to cool
- 530 calories / serving
- 50g butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 pears, firm but ripe
- 15ml (1tbsp) brandy or calvados
- 320g pack ready rolled puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. In a 20cm ovenproof frying pan, melt 50g butter and 50g caster sugar over medium heat. Swirl the pan with 2 star anise and 1 cinnamon stick until the mixture creates a golden caramel.
- 3-4 hard but ripe pears, peeled, halved, and cored, placed tightly in the pan's base. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until slightly softened.
- 1 tablespoon brandy (or calvados) flambé for 1-2 minutes, or until flames die down. Remove the cinnamon from the pan and set aside the star anise. Allow to cool.
- Cut a circle 2cm wider than the pan out of a 320g pack of ready-rolled all butter puff pastry. Place the pastry over the pears with care, pressing down the sides to ensure the dough extends all the way to the edge.
- Prick with a fork all over, brush with beaten egg, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until puffed and golden (ripe pears only need 20 minutes, tougher pears take longer).
- Cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then cut between the pastry and the edge with a sharp knife, set a serving dish on top, invert the pan, and serve.
Tip: When flipping out the tart, be careful handling the hot pan and use a big, lipped plate to catch any caramel and liquids - place this over the top of the pan, fasten with oven gloves, then swiftly flip the pan over so the plate is on the bottom and the pan is on top.