the perfect pear...
I was greeted by piles of sweet, juicy pears at the greengrocer's yesterday. A delicious autumnal fruit that when perfectly ripe is, I believe, a match for any apple. I bought a paperbag each of Beurre Bosc, Nashi and Packham. The Nashi are perfect lunchbox treats and I'll roast the Packham's with red onion and a spicy olive oil to serve with pork chops. My favourite though has to be the Beurre Bosc; when fully ripe they're gorgeous with blue cheese and walnuts or tossed in a salad with rocket and parmesan. Today, however, they are still a little hard so pudding is a warm tarte tatin (or pear's upside down if you don't fancy rolling your r's)
Peel, quarter and core five or six pears before heating up 4 tablespoons of brown sugar and 100g of unsalted butter in a small frying pan. I use a stainless steel omlette pan as it needs to go from hob to oven.
Stir until the sugar dissolves and the sauce has a runny toffee consistency.
Take off the heat and pack in the pears, I pop them on their sides like domino's.
Cook gently until the caramel darkens to a deep, deep toffee brown but be careful not to burn.
Cut a circle of flaky pastry slighter larger than the pan and drape over the fruit before putting the pan straight into an oven at 180 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffy.
Leave to cool for at least 5 minutes and then turn out onto a plate being careful not to spill any of the hot caramel.
The kids love it with ice cream, but I can't resist a splash of runny cream and an espresso.