The arrival of autumn brings with it an abundance of juicy pears from across the region. Delicious and versatile with just the right amount of sweetness, this fruit is ideal for preserving so you can enjoy it all year round – and it makes the BEST tarte tatin!
HOW TO PRESERVE PEARS
- Wash and dry the pears before peeling them with a vegetable peeler or pairing knife.
- Remove the stems and slice the pears in half to pit and core the fruit. It’s up to you whether you continue to chop the pears into chunks or leave them as halves (for this example we kept them as halves).
- To prevent the pears from browning, place the pears into a bowl with lemon juice. Toss to fully coat the pieces.
- To make the preserving liquid we used one part sugar to two parts water to create sugar syrup but you can also use juice or honey. If you want to be more adventurous, this is the time to add in different flavourings or spices such as ginger, cinnamon, lavender or star anis.
- Gradually cook the pears in the syrup until soft before separating into jars. Place the pear pieces in first and funnel the liquid over the top. It’s recommended to do this while the mixture is still warm.
PEAR TARTE TATIN RECIPE
Using preserved pears in this recipes will not only put those jars to good use, it will also save you time prepping the fruit beforehand. Keep a few sheets of puff pastry in the freezer and you’ve got yourself an instant and cost-effective dessert for last minute dinner guests.
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
- 5 pears (peeled, cored and quartered)
- Preheat oven to 190°C.
- Place the sugar and water in a 24cm round non-stick frying pan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, for 7–9 minutes or until lightly golden. Carefully add the butter and stir until melted and well combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat and carefully arrange the pear, cut-side up and slightly overlapping, in the caramel. Top the pear with the pastry round and fold the edges under to tuck in the pears.
- Using a fork, make a few marks in the centre of the pastry. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.
- Allow to stand for 2–3 minutes. Carefully turn out the tart to serve.
HINT: Mix it up with a combination of apples and pears or try it with peaches, depending on what you have available.