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Recipe of the week: salted honey, pear and chocolate tarte tatin

The ingredients of this French dessert fuse together in the most delicious way

Salty caramel, roasted pear, crisp pastry and walnuts fuse into something completely delicious in this tarte tatin, says Sue Quinn. The chocolate surreptitiously enriches the caramel without shouting about it.

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients
  • 1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry or 320g block
  • plain flour, for dusting, if needed
  • 6 Conference pears (or other small pears), about 100g each
  • lemon juice, for squeezing
  • 70g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 70g runny honey
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 50g walnut pieces
  • 50g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), chopped
  • whipped cream, to serve
Method
  • If using block pastry, roll out on a lightly floured work surface until 3mm thick. Cut a 23cm disc from the pastry, prick all over with a fork and chill while you prepare the filling.
  • Peel and halve the pears, then carefully remove the cores with a teaspoon; you want perfect halves if possible. Transfer to a bowl and toss with a little lemon juice as you go to prevent browning.
  • Melt the butter in a 20cm ovenproof frying pan. Sprinkle over the sugar and cook for 2mins until it begins to dissolve, then stir in the honey and salt. Arrange all but one of the pears, cut-side up, in the pan with the narrowest end pointing to the centre – you want them to fit snugly, as they will shrink slightly during cooking. If there is a space left right in the centre, cut a round from the remaining pear half and place it, cut-side up, in the space. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Cook over a medium heat for 30mins; the butter and sugar mixture should energetically bubble away and reduce down to a thick and syrupy amber-coloured caramel. Shake the pan frequently, and now and then spoon some caramel over the pears.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle over the walnuts and chocolate, filling in any gaps between the pears with the nuts. Cover with the pastry disc and tuck the edges into the sides of the pan with a spoon.
  • Bake for 30mins, or until puffed and golden. Set aside for 5mins, then carefully invert onto a plate. Serve immediately with whipped cream.
Book cover

Taken from The Little Chocolate Cookbook by Sue Quinn, published by Quadrille on 3 March at £10. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £7.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk.

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