Pear tarte tatin

Pear tarte tatin

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(28 ratings)

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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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10th Oct, 2015
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
26th Jan, 2015
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
17th Apr, 2017
This is a simple and delicious recipe to do when you have lots of other things on the go. The only thing in the recipe which needs slight adjustment is the cooking time for the pears: took me more like 20 minutes to caramelise them.
20th Sep, 2013
Making this today with windfall pears from the garden. Think it will go well with a nice Rivesaltes dessert wine:
12th Sep, 2013
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.
20th Apr, 2013
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.
10th Feb, 2013
Can you make this in advance and reheat (for a dinner party) ? TIA
10th Feb, 2013
Can you make this in advance and reheat (for a dinner party) ? TIA
8th Feb, 2013
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.
30th Mar, 2012
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.


9th Dec, 2018
Can you make this recipe a day before and reheat on the day? Many thanks.
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. To ensure nice crisp pastry we'd recommend doing all but step 1 on the day. We have a selection of Christmas recipes here, including desserts, which you can make ahead:
catrose13's picture
27th Mar, 2016
Hum. Mr Ramsey says not to worry, you cant burn the pears while caramelizing, well I just did!
goodfoodteam's picture
20th May, 2016
Sorry to hear that, normally the juice from the pear stops that from happening.
4th Jan, 2014
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!
20th Sep, 2013
Making this today with windfall pears from the garden. Think it will go well with a nice Rivesaltes dessert wine:
15th Sep, 2013
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.
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