Pear Tart Tatin

You will notice a theme in the coming weeks of comfort and joyful foods that will hopefully brighten your day (as well as mine when I develop and make them) and help us through this darkest of Januarys.
I still find it mind boggling that only a year ago we had no idea what the last year would bring and our lives would turn out so differently. We’ve been lucky with work carrying on from home and schools doing a fantastic job of offering great education from home, but I know it hasn’t been so easy for many many others. People getting seriously ill, losing jobs, struggling with their mental health and opportunities disappearing out the window. It’s just all so sad; i don’t notice on a normal day but then you go into town and see everything shut and it dawns on you that the world is a different place to a few short months ago. Like everyone, I do so hope things get better and we can return to some kind of normality soon.

But in the meantime, what we need is serious comfort food; a great big hug on a plate! Surely a Tart Tatin, with it’s crisp and flaky base topped with delicious caramel and juicy fruit must be the epitome of feel good food.

I think people presume a Tart Tatin is difficult to make but it’s so easy and you only need a few ingredients to make a delicious drool-worthy tart. Apparently created by a happy mistake, the beauty of a good tart Tatin is that a little bit of scruffiness only adds to the appeal. A normal Tart Tatin is laden with butter but you really wouldn’t notice the difference with my friendly version.

Pear Tart Tatin

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves 4-6

100g caster sugar

30g dairy-free margarine

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 pears, peeled , cored and cut into 12 wedges each

1/2 pack dairy-free puff pastry (about 250g)

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade
  2. Roll out the pastry and cut out a circle a little bigger than the top of the pan you’re going to use.
  3. Place an oven-proof pan (if you have one) on a medium heat. Add the sugar and let is dissolve until it forms a light golden caramel. Carefully add the margarine and cinnamon (it will splatter a bit) and swirl to combine. Add the pear slices and turn over in the caramel so they are nicely coated.
  4. Either pour into an oven proof dish or use the one you made the caramel in. Neatly arrange the pear slices and let cool for a few minutes
  5. Place the pastry circle on top and tuck the edges in
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry has puffed up and is golden all over
  7. Let cool for a couple of minutes, then place a plate on top of the pan and quickly invert the dish.
  8. Serve wedges with ice cream or dairy-free pouring cream

Knockout Pear and Almond pastries (aka Jalousie aux Poires)

It worked! I am so, so pleased! 🙂 My second foray into making French patisserie (as taught by the wonderful Claire Clark when she was a teacher at Le Cordon Bleu) but egg and dairy-free, has turned out really well. Do try this recipe, it isn’t hard, and to me the combination of pear and almond is utterly divine. A Jalousie can also be made with apples, groseilles/small plums or peaches. I think I might try plum next time!

This is perfect either as a pudding (perhaps with ice cream), alone with a cup of tea/coffee, or just to impress your friends.

Jalousie aux Poires (dairy-free, egg-free, sesame-free, peanut-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes one jalousie, perhaps 8-10 slices

  • 1 pack of ready made puff pastry
  • 1 tin of pears, drained well
  • 60g dairy-free spread
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups ground almonds
  • 3 tbsps cornflour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsps oat milk
  • oat milk for brushing
  • 2 tbsps icing sugar mixed with water to form a thin icing.

– Roll out the pastry to approx 1/8th inch thick (very thin!)

– Cut one strip about 10 cm wide and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment

– Cut another strip 20 cm wide and fold into four. Also place on the baking sheet. Rest in the fridge.

– Meanwhile, make the frangipane.

– Rub or pulse the spread into the sugar, ground almonds, cornflour, salt and essences. It should be dryish and crumbly.

– Add the oat milk and combine to make a stiff paste.

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 6

– Remove the pastry from the fridge. Spread a thick band of frangipane down the middle of the thin strip.

– Place a line of pears on top.

– With the other strip, fold in half length-ways and make slits 2/3rds of the way down from the folded edge.

– Brush the edges of the thin strip with oat milk. Lay the thicker strip over the top (carefully!). Press down the edges. Then seal the edges with a fork dipped in flour.

– Brush the entire pastry with oat milk and rest in the fridge for 10 minutes. can freeze at this stage.

– Bake for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden.

– Cool.

– Once cool brush with nappage (thinned apricot jam – I didn’t have any!) and then the thin icing.

– Cut into even slices with a serrated knife.