After some light research, I discovered that this famous upside-down tart was created by the Tatin sisters at the beginning of the 20th century and has now become one of the most popular French desserts.
Please don't panic... Don't let the French name intimidate you. There's nothing difficile about this dessert. C'est très facile! Rumour has it tarte tatin was actually created by accident (the tart was placed in the oven the wrong way round, that sort of business), so how hard can it be?
This classic tart is traditionally made with apples, but any fruits that work well with caramel would do, like apricots, bananas and of course, pears.
I have my own recipes for tarte tatin, but I used Jamie's instead because I want to relish in all of his recipes from the book before the project ends in less than a couple of weeks.
Start by making a caramel in a heavy-bottomed frying pan by cooking some caster sugar, vanilla seeds and water until they become thick and deep brown in colour.
Put the pears slices in with the caramel and gently toss them around so they get nicely coated. Stir in a little bit of butter and reduce until the you have a thick buttery caramel sauce. This syrup will be very hot, so don't be tempted to touch it for a taste.
Carefully take off the heat and sprinkle some ground ginger and a handful of toasted flaked almonds.
Cover the whole thing with puff pastry and brush with a little egg wash before putting the pan in a pre-heated oven. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before inverting the tart to its platter. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme leaves which may sounds odd but it works!
Jamie suggests to serve the tart with thick clotted cream, but I just couldn't resist Apple Ice Cream. I enjoy making ice cream and it's a shame I haven't been making a lot more this summer.
And the thing about making home made ice cream is there's no need to buy the expensive heavy machinery. If you have one, great! but if you don't, yes, it's more work, but not at all difficult.
Warm pear tarte tatin, cold and smooth apple ice cream... Desserts for dinner, très délicieux.
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