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Shannon Bennett: Pear tarte Tatin

You'll need

180 gm caster sugar 180 gm butter, cut into 8 pieces 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthways 4 ripe firm pears such as Packham, Williams or small beurre Bosc, halved, cored and each studded with a clove 2 sheets butter puff pastry (375gm each) To serve: pouring cream and pure icing sugar   Eight-spice powder 2½ tsp juniper berries 5 star anise 2 tsp cloves 1 tsp white peppercorns ½ tsp cardamom seeds 1 large cinnamon quill 1 small pinch saffron 2 tsp Murray River salt flakes


  • 01
  • For eight-spice powder, dry-roast ingredients (except salt) until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind with salt until finely ground, set aside.
  • 02
  • Divide sugar between two 18cm-diameter cast-iron frying pans, divide butter cubes between pans, sprinkle each pan with 1 tsp eight-spice powder (reserve remainder for another use), then place halved vanilla bean in the centre in a cross. Place pear halves in pans cut-side up, cover with puff pastry, trim into a circle and firmly tuck in edges, then refrigerate to rest (15 minutes).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190C. Score pastry in the centre and between each pear half, then cook over low-medium heat until sugar begins to caramelise (12-18 minutes). Carefully baste pastry with caramel, then transfer to oven and bake until pastry is golden and puffed, basting pastry halfway through cooking (15-20 minutes). Remove from oven, loosen edges with a knife, then carefully turn out onto a chopping board, cut into pieces, dust with icing sugar and serve hot with cream.
This recipe is from the April 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

A Canadian ice wine or a passito-style dessert wine

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