Tarte tatin is a wonderful dessert that is usually made as a large – pie like – beauty cut into triangles and served with ice cream, whipped cream or simply plain. This time, let’s make individual ones…one for each person…portion control and very impressive. It’s a great way to end a spring brunch or any dinner. If you have one left-over, it’s great for breakfast, too!
You can use any firm, fresh fruit in season. Usually made with apples that are arranged in concentric circles, these individual ones are free-form to fit the shape of the pears. Amazing!
Individual Pear Tarte Tatin
- 2 firm pears
- 4 star anise
- 1 package Puff Pastry
- 1/4 c butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 c sugar
Preheat oven to 425.
Peel, trim and cut pears in half, lengthwise. Core pears (use the small end of a melon baller to core them, or the tip of a spoon). Press a star anise into the open core and press it down so it stays (but not too deeply). Place the pear halves core-side down on a sheet of parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Cover with puff pastry (you may need 1 or both sheets, depending on how large your pears are). Trim around the edges to keep the shape of the pear. The pastry will actually touch the parchment paper and completely cover the pears. Refrigerate while you prepare the caramel.
Place the lemon juice with the butter. Meanwhile, put a thin layer of sugar in a non-stick, ovenproof pan and set on the stove to medium high heat. When the sugar starts to melt, add another thin layer of sugar. Don’t stir the sugar. Just slowly move the pan around in a circular motion on the burner. Repeat until all the sugar is used. When the sugar melts to a light golden color, remove from the heat and add the butter and lemon. Use a spoon to softly swirl the butter around. Continue to move the pan in a circular motion so the butter gets fully incorporated into the melted sugar.
Place the pears (pastry side up) into the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Carefully remove pastry from baking sheet using a palette knife or thin, metal spatula. Serve pastry-side down; drizzle with caramel sauce and ice cream or whipped cream with extra sauce on the side.