Pear tarte Tatin

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins

More effort

Serves 8
Gordon adds a touch of spice to the ultimate French classic to create the definitive autumn pudding

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal429
  • fat25g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs48g
  • sugars25g
  • fibre2g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.69g
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  • 8 pears



    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 2 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp brandy



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 500g block all-butter puff pastry


  1. Core the pears, then peel as neatly as possible and halve. If you like, they can be prepared up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge, uncovered, so that they dry out.

  2. Tip the sugar, butter, star anise, cardamom and cinnamon into an ovenproof frying pan, about 20cm wide, and place over a high heat until bubbling. Shake the pan and stir the buttery sauce until it separates and the sugar caramelises to a toffee colour.

  3. Lay the pears in the pan, then cook in the sauce for 10-12 mins, tossing occasionally, until completely caramelised. Don’t worry about them burning – they won’t – but you want to caramelise them as much as possible. Splash in the brandy and let it flambé, then set the pears aside.

  4. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a plate slightly larger than the top of the pan, cut out a circle, then press the edges of the circle of pastry to thin them out.

  5. When the pears have cooled slightly, arrange them in the pan, cut side up, in a floral shape, with the pears around the edge pointing inwards. Rest the cinnamon stick on the top in the centre, with the cardamom pods scattered around.

  6. Drape the pastry over the pears, then tuck the edges down the pan sides and under the fruit (see Gordon’s guide). Pierce the pastry a few times, then bake for 15 mins. If a lot of juice bubbles up the side of the pan, pour it off at this stage (see guide). Reduce oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and bake for 15 mins more until the pastry is golden. Leave the tart to stand for 10 mins, then invert it carefully onto a serving dish.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (35)

ShivyDevon's picture

Yummy! Baked this tonight and it tasted lovely! Didn't have the brandy to flambe but tasted lovely all the same. Probably needed to pour the juice off half way but was still lovely and I liked the juice nixed it with some creme fraiche I served it with - Yum!

cottonball40's picture

Great recipe! I will definitely make it again. Some notes that I thought would be useful:
- I reduced sugar to 70g and the sweetness is just right.
- I only have cinnamon stick but the taste is still lovely!
- I dried the pear in the fridge for only 3hrs so definitely need to drain a lot of juice out.
- Good to drain in the middle of the baking process otherwise the crust will not stick to the pear.

hobbychef's picture

Enjoyed the spices and the brandy flavouring but thought it was generally too sweet. Think I'll stick to the apple version as they're a bit tarter.

violakatie's picture

Lovely recipe, never fails to impress a crowd! I'm a stingy student so I use ground spices - ground allspice, cardamom and cinnamon (sometimes I add other ones like nutmeg or ginger depending on what I feel like), and I substituted sherry for brandy. I tried it with brandy as well, but I actually like the astringency of the sherry better - it cuts through the sweetness a little more. Instead of using the block of pastry that the recipe calls for, I just layer two sheets of ordinary puff pastry, turning the second one so that the corners fit like an eight-pointed star to get as much coverage as possible.

ishouldbeeating's picture

Delicious. Didn't taste v spicy but I didn't have any cardamom pods. Will try with a little less sugar next time as v v sweet. Easy to make.

goodmanm's picture

Can you make this in advance and reheat (for a dinner party) ? TIA

goodmanm's picture

Can you make this in advance and reheat (for a dinner party) ? TIA

gquti26's picture

Made this today for a dinner party at a friend's. It went down very well indeed. Just the right amount of sweetness and the pears were so tender, yet held their shape very well. Will definitely be making this again as I only got to have a little piece at the party.

sarahayyub's picture

My first ever attempt at a tarte tartin...Fool proof recipe. Simple, quick and very easy to make. I made it with a mix of cox and granny smith apples, missed out the Brandy (as i didn't have any) and served it with creme fraiche that I sweetened with a bit of icing sugar, cinnamon and a bit of vanilla. Everyone loved it. Will make again for sure.

corrinamoore's picture

Hate doing deserts but this one is so easy and delicious that it has become a regular favourite, having been made with both pears and apples. Usually serve with Creme Fraiche as it tends to cut through the sweetness a bit better.

matcho's picture

lovely! Will definately be making this again, the whole family loved it.

salacious's picture

I would put less butter next time. It was easy to make and tasted delicious.

sweemore's picture

Only used the cinnamon stick as didn't have the other spices. This recipe is really simple but delicious! Highly recommend

doldderwen8's picture

With the fab cast iron pan my parents bought us for our 12th anniversary this dish cooks perfectly, it is foolproof and delicious, as I only ever have cinnamon sticks in , that's all I included, I also did not have brandy the third time, but it was still great, I really can't fault this dish.

louisa83's picture

Kay Matthews - You said you used mixed spices in the recipe. How much did you put in? Thanks

vhoracek's picture

I made this with apples, other than that I must say that one piece of star anise is just enough, as it can overpower the other spices.

katiets1's picture

This was really really delicious. I made it with apples and used five smallish cox and pink lady apples mixed together, peeled, cored and quartered - probably could have managed a sixth apple. I also didn't bother to flambee. It turned out amazing - did notice that when I flipped it onto my serving plate it some of the apples felt out of place but it was easy enough to put them back in their place. Overall it looked super professional!

amethystbecks's picture

My first at a tarte tatin. Very pleased with the results.


Questions (2)

catrose13's picture

Hum. Mr Ramsey says not to worry, you cant burn the pears while caramelizing, well I just did!

goodfoodteam's picture

Sorry to hear that, normally the juice from the pear stops that from happening.

Tips (3)

imnotacomedian's picture

It says that you won't burn the caramel sauce but I tried this in a large pan using my biggest ring on the hob on it's highest flame and did manage to burn it. The effect wasn't too bad, it had the darkness and bitterness of crème brulee against the sweetness and light brown of the pear. However if you prefer a sweeter pudding I'd suggest using a medium size ring, when I did this the second time it didn't burn.

I broke open the cardamom pods to spread the seeds around to help the flavour and gives it nice flecks of black around the tart and occasionally a burst of cardamom if you eat one. The star anise is strong so I added a couple of extra cardamom pods.

You really do need to drain away the juices to avoid a soggy tart, even if you leave the pears to dry for a day beforehand.

Also I think the ingredients list should say 8 pear halves, I tried this with 8 whole pears and quickly realised 16 pear halves wouldn't fit into a 20cm pan!

sharebo's picture

Do worry about burning the pears! Less than 10 minutes high heat meant burnt bitter pears for me. Smelt and looked like all was going well but quickly went wrong after around 7 minutes. Will definitely try again but on a medium heat or shorter time frame.