Ginger and Honey Pear Tarte Tatin
We’ve taken a few liberties with our tarte tatin recipe. You’ve probably already noticed the one major change, we’ve opted to use sweet, juicy pears in the place of the tart apples, I think it improves the overall texture of the dish, plus I feel the pears absorb more of the flavour from the syrup than apples do. Then, instead of just a plain old butter and sugar caramel, we invited ginger and honey to the party. The honey completely transforms this pear tarte tatin! It gives the syrup more dimension than just ‘sweet’ and although yes, honey is indeed also sweet, it’s a sweetness that doesn’t overpower the delicate pears. The addition of ginger warms the senses as you eat, making this the perfect Winter dessert, and the classic inclusion of copious amounts of butter and sugar… you guessed it, makes it buttery and melt in your mouth delicious. It’s also quick and easy to whip up, makes very little mess (ignore the massive syrup mess in my photograph… I meant mess dishes wise as everything is prepared and cooked in the one frying pan, plus so long as you tip your pear tarte tatin onto a plate instead of a cake stand… you can probably avoid the syrup mess depicted as well.), and it’s a real crowd pleaser!
The tarte tatin (pronunced tarte tartan) was named such after the hotel (Hôtel Tatin) that was serving this tart as its signature dish. Legend has it that this recipe came about when one of the Tatin sisters (owners of said Hôtel Tatin) burnt a pan of apples and so covered them with pastry and put them in the oven to bake in an attempt to save them. And save them she did! As you may have already gathered from the backstory, a tarte tatin recipe is usually comprised of pastry, within which the chosen fruit (usually apples, but this case we’re making a pear tarte tatin) are caramelised in butter and sugar before then being baked, and it is DELICIOUS! Thank you Tatin sisters!… or whichever one of you burnt those apples, Hats off to you.
MY TOP TIPS FOR MASTERING THIS BAKE
#1 Sugar cannot melt in butter alone. If your butter has a high water content you may be in luck, but if not your sugar will not melt, the 1tbsp of water is your trick to getting all the ingredients to melt together nicely, so don’t skip this ingredient if you’re playing around with the recipe.
#2 Make sure you tuck your pastry right down into the frying pan around those pears. You want it to be sitting in the caramel. And don’t stress if it looks a little rustic, if you haven’t already noticed, it’s part of this recipes charm.
#3 This recipe doesn’t reheat well, so I wouldn’t recommend preparing this dessert ahead of time, instead it’s best eaten fresh from the oven.