I tried this Gordon Ramsay recipe during the year end dinner and everyone loves it. The only change I will make next time is to use slightly riper and softer pear.
This recipe serves 6.
6 star anise
3 vanilla pods
900g puff pastry
icing sugar (to dust)
150g caster sugar
1 splash dark rum
Vinilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Peel the pears, halve them and scoop out the cores with a melon baller to create a small, even, circular hole.
Insert a star anise into each hole. Slice the vanilla pods into 5cm pieces. Use a small knife to cut out the stalks at the top of the pears and replace them with the pieces of the vanilla pod.
Roll out the pastry to a large sheet. Divide into 6 pieces. Mould each piece of pastry around the peeled side if each pear and trim away the excess pastry. Place the pears in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.
To make the caramel, heat the sugar in a large heavy-based ovenproof pan, wait until a golden caramel colour is achieved, then add the butter. Finish with a splash of rum to deglaze the pan and loosen the caramel.
Remove the pears from the fridge and place them cut-side down on top of the caramel. Generously dust the pastry with icing sugar.
Bake the tatins for 8-10 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp. Leave to stand for a minute or so, then slide a palette knife under each pear and carefully lift and flip over onto a warmed plate.
Trickle over the caramelised pan juices and serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream.