Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Drippilicous Pear and Maple tartes tatin

Small tarts are good tarts, because you can have more of them.
The Knave of Hearts (who stole some tarts) was onto a good thing.

Here are a couple of small tarts from a recipe that was originally intended for one large tart. 
There is a feature in issue 62 of Donna Hay magazine on tartes tatin (or is it tarte tatins?) and how to make them. These are upside-down tarts made with puff pastry. You can use any fruit you fancy, as long as you cook the fruits in caramel, which produces a sticky, gooey, hard-to-scrape-off sauce when the tarts are inverted.

Rather than the usual apple tarte tatin, I used Williams pears, which have a firm, juicy and sweet flesh. They go beautifully with the sweet caramel that has the added distinct flavour of maple syrup. There was quite a bit of cleanup with these tarts - pastry cutter, saucepan for the caramel, scraping off of the hardened caramel from the muffin pan, scraping the dripping caramel off my chin - but these tarts were so good that you have to make more so that you can eat more. Super yum!

Pear and Maple Tartes Tatin
makes approx 6

2-3 firm ripe pears, like Williams or Packham
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1/4 cup water
50g butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed

1. Peel, core and chop the pears into 2.5cm/1" pieces.
2. For the caramel: Place the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the mixture boils, do not stir any further. Cook until the colour changes to a golden brown (10-15 minutes) - be careful, it changes quickly. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and golden syrup until combined.
3. Pour the caramel into 6 standard-sized muffin tins. Place the pear pieces on top of the caramel.
4. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Use a circle-shaped cookie cutter to cut puff pastry to fit the tops of the muffin holes. Place pastry on top of the pears, tucking the pastry into the holes to enclose the pears. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
5. Use a large spoon to carefully remove the tarts from the pan and place onto plates. Serve with cream or ice cream, if you like.

recipe adapted from donna hay

Williams pears were used here, but other pears, like knobbly Packhams, would also be good. Williams pears are better, though, because they ripen more quickly, in 1-2 days.
Cut circles of puff pastry to fit over the pears.
The pear pieces lie in the maple caramel sauce.
After the tarts are cooked, run a knife around the muffin holes and use a spoon to get the tarts out. 

The dripping caramel gets everywhere, but it is easy to lick clean up (use hot/boiling water to dissolve it)


  1. I actually love messy recipes like this because it means I have an excuse to lick the pan, the bowl, my table...everything the caramel sauce touches! Yum.

  2. Genius! These do indeed look drippilicious! LIKE where you're at: Small tarts are good tarts, because you can have more of them---> hells yes.

  3. I dont think I could have just one of these....anything maple is tops in my book! They look lovely Bel!

  4. These tart tatins look glorious...the classic apple one is one of my all time favourite desserts but these sure do look delicious!

  5. Wow Bel, these tarts look great, I love the shiny layer of caramel...I wish I could have one now...
    and I'd not waste the caramel with hot water :)
    Hope you are having a wonderful week!

  6. Oh my goodness! I've seen recipes for tartes tatin popping up everywhere but this is the first time I've seen individual mini tartes tatin. These look wonderful.

    You have to be careful with caramel and butterscotch. One time I made some and left it on the stovetop to cool. My husband came along and the first thing he wanted to do was to put a spoonful of the molten lava into his mouth. Luckily I knew that would happen and stopped him just in time.

  7. With winter apple season coming on, I expect to see lots of apple tartes tatins popping up everywhere!

  8. These are lovely and so pretty. I never thought to make them in a muffin tin.

  9. I love a syrupy drip! :D They look fantastic Bel!

  10. I've been wanting to try making these since we were served one at Ad Lib Bistro. Making a full sized tarte tatin never appealed to me! Yours look wonderful!

  11. As a Canadian in Australia, I get a pretty serious maple craving every now and then, and these are getting filed away for my next fix. Love how easy they are! It's SUCH a pleasure to meet your lovely blog!

    Catherine @ The Spring (in Sydney)

  12. amazing post! I will need to try them

  13. Dear Bel,

    You have taken drippilicious to a whole new level with this recipe! Well done.

  14. Small tarts are good tarts, because you can have more of them.....
    I think we are destined to be friends!

    I love pear and maple together - such a heartwarming combination. Just lovely!

  15. Love individual serving of those tartes tatin. They look spectacular!

  16. wow sound great im going to give it a go !