The holidays are a time for decadence. Be it decorations or delicacies, we welcome the opportunity to indulge in life’s simple pleasures. It, therefore, felt only fitting to reach out to Ninelle Mikula whose Instagram is often full of irresistible-looking savoury dishes and sweet treats. She has shared one of her seasonal favourites; tarte tatin.
If you’ve never made this decadent dessert before, we have a feeling that after reading this how-to, it’ll go to the very top of your list! (And maybe become one of your own festive favourites!)
3-4 firm Bosc pears*
7 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 star anise pods
2 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp cognac or brandy
1 sheet puff pastry dough
Peel and core the pears.
Take an oven-safe wide frying pan or cast iron pan and place over medium heat to melt the butter. Next, add sugar, spices and cinnamon and stir occasionally until everything begins to bubble. Gently place the pears in the pan round side down and cook for 7-9 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time until the pears are nicely caramelized.
Add the brandy or cognac to the pears and quickly light it with a matchstick so that the alcohol catches and bursts into a flame (professionals tilt the pan to light but I’m afraid that will be too messy and risky in regular kitchens, so I avoid tilting). Let the alcohol flambé**, once the flame dies out, turn off the heat and set the pan aside to cool slightly.
Preheat your oven to 425°F and roll out the puff pastry sheet just slightly to fit the pan. Place the dough over the pears and gently tuck in the edges. Poke a few holes in the dough with a knife for steam to exit.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until it reaches a crispy texture and deep golden colour.
Once baked, cool for 10-15 min and then gently flip onto a plate. Remember to flip away from you. Serve warm.
*If you’d prefer, you can swap out the pears for apples, peaches or persimmons.
**If flambéing makes you nervous I find that watching YouTube videos gives examples of good techniques and gave me the confidence to go for it!
You can find more delicious recipes and inspiration for your home from Ninelle on her Instagram . We’d love to see how your tartes tatin turn out – be sure to tag us both if you try your hand at this sumptuous treat!
Recipe adapted and slightly modified from:
Shop tools for the task: