This famed tart is traditionally made with apples, but sweet juicy pears work equally well.
65 gmcaster sugar40 gmbutter, coarsely chopped2ripe William pears, cored and quartered375 gmsheet butter puff pastry, rolled to 4mm thick and cut to a 22cm round (see note)To serve:pouring cream, or vanilla bean ice-cream
Preheat oven to 200C. Scatter sugar evenly over the base of an 18cm-diameter cast-iron or stainless-steel frying pan and cook over high heat until sugar begins to dissolve and caramelise around the edges (1-2 minutes). Start swirling pan occasionally to cook sugar evenly (do not stir) until sugar is all caramelised (1-2 minutes). Add butter and swirl to combine (20-30 seconds), then remove from heat and arrange pear quarters over caramel in a circle. Cover with puff pastry, tucking edges down around the pears with a spoon. Score the centre for steam to escape, then bake until pastry is dark golden and puffed (18-20 minutes).
Remove from oven, stand for 2 minutes, then place a plate on top and shake pan to loosen tart. Working quickly, invert tart being very careful of hot caramel drips. Serve hot with pouring cream or ice-cream.
Note We prefer to use Carême butter puff
pastry, but any other butter puff pastry can be used.