With buttery, caramelised pears and a crisp puff pastry topping, this delicious dessert is sure to become an autumnal favourite. Many thanks to AGA Specialist Dawn Roads for this lovely recipe.
75g golden caster sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
12 small pears
Sprigs of fresh lemon thyme
350g puff pastry
We used the AGA Cast-Iron Buffet Casserole for this recipe.
1. Place the butter and sugar into the base of the AGA Cast-Iron Buffet Casserole and gently heat on the simmering plate to dissolve the sugar. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until the butter and sugar are just beginning to colour.
2. Meanwhile peel and halve the pears, remove the core – for ease use a melon baller. Immerse each pear half into the lemon juice, after preparation, to avoid them browning. Add the lemon zest, sprigs of thyme and all the pear halves to the hot butter and sugar. Cook until the pears become translucent and tender, and the sauce is caramelising (turning darker), turning occasionally, about 15-20 minutes, dependent upon their ripeness.
3. While the pears are cooking roll out the pastry into a circle a little larger than the base of the buffet casserole – I used the lid to mark out the circle.
4. Take the pears off the heat and arrange them into a pattern on the base of the pan. Remove the sprigs of thyme. Place the puff pastry circle on top of the pears, folding and tucking in the pastry at the edges.
5. Slide the base of the buffet casserole onto the oven grid shelf, placed on the 4th set of runners down in the roasting oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden.
6. Remove the tart tartin from the oven and place on a large round serving plate, wait a couple of minutes before removing the pan. If any pear halves are left in the base just spoon them onto their respective space.
Serve warm with cream, custard or ice cream.
Conventional cooking: Cook on the hob then bake in the oven at 200ºC, fan oven 180ºC, Gas Mark 6.