Recipe: Caramelised Pear and Cranberry Tarte Tatin
‘This recipe can be made using many different fruit – from plums, apples, pineapples and strawberries to tomatoes and onions – as long as you make sure the puff pastry is wrapped tightly round and touching the caramel. This recipe was introduced on Hell’s Kitchen and was very popular. Two of my best and favourite contestants mastered the result very well. They happened to be Stein Smart and Kelly. You will need 12cm tart tins for this recipe, which can be prepared in advance, up to the end of step 7 and frozen.’
Serves 4Preparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients3 vanilla pods, halved lengthways; 4 tbsps fresh cranberries, or thawed if frozen; 2 tbsps caster sugar; pinch ground cinnamon; 120ml hot caramel; 4 Comice pears; 1 packet ready-made puff pastry
To serve4 scoops vanilla ice cream; icing sugar; 4 sprigs fresh mint
Preheat oven to 220?C/Fan 200?C/Gas 8. Heat a heavy-based pan and when hot add two halves of the vanilla pods, cranberries and sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved with the cranberries. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Cut four circles from greaseproof paper, larger than the tart tins. Scrunch them up and place in the bottom of the tins. Sprinkle each one with ground cinnamon and 1 of the vanilla pod halves. Spoon the hot caramel into each and allow to cool for roughly 2 minutes. Peel the pears. Carefully remove a thin slice from the base and cut and discard a third from the stalk end.Use a teaspoon to scoop out the inside of the pears, including the core. Fill with the cranberry compote. Roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of 3mm and cut into 4 circles. Place the tins with the set caramel upside down on top of the filled pears, and carefully turn them both over so that the tins are underneath. (The larger base of the pear should be touching the caramel.) Cover the pears with the pastry, press tightly so that that no air is left underneath; the pastry should also be touching and pressed into the caramel. Chill in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Return them to the hot oven and bake for a further15 minutes. Holding the greaseproof paper, carefully tip the pears upside down on to a serving plate and remove the greaseproof paper. Top with vanilla ice cream, dust with icing sugarand decorate with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately. If wished, instead of ice cream, use chilled low-fatcrème fraîche. To make the recipe more simple, use thick honeyinstead of the caramel.