Pear Tarte Tartin and…A Friendly Social

Last night was Alfie’s school’s Year 2 Social Evening and the organisers chose to hold it at the local lawn bowls club.

Pear Tarte Tatin

I was desperate and dateless as Carl had double-booked himself and ended up in a seminar on the other side of town so I walked in hardly knowing a soul, adorned myself with a sticky name tag then headed for the bar.  I was just taking the first sip of my chardonnay when one of the ‘officials’ let me know they wouldn’t be serving the food until ‘after the game’.

‘Sorry, what game?’  I asked.

‘The bowls.’  And she looked down at my stilettos.  ‘Did you bring any flat-soled shoes?’

I arrived in stilettos thinking it was at the club purely because they had a lovely function room.  It was fairly obvious I didn’t have any other shoes given the size of my miniscule handbag.  ‘Oh, right, the bowling.  It’s okay, I’ll just spectate’, I told her with honest relief.

‘It’s okay’, she beamed, ‘You can play in bare feet and we won’t be serving the food until after the game’.  And off she went with her clipboard.

I was starving and looking for something to munch but the rules are the rules and there was to be no sustenance until the last ball had been bowled so we were sent outside where under the floodlights we were given a lesson in bowling.  Finely he finished and asked, ‘Are there any questions?’

I shot my hand up immediately.  ‘I do, I do.  Is the aim of the game to hit the little white ball or get your ball as close to it as possible?’  And then everyone secretly wished I wasn’t going to be in their team.

But I did find my way into a team so I removed my lovely little shoes and stood with a chipped pedicure (that my shoes had been hiding) on the damp ground and bowled.  It’s not as easy as it looks!  Those balls don’t go in a straight line.  Our team, ‘The Green Girls’ (because we were bowling with green balls) didn’t win the trophy.  If only those others had applied themselves and not sipped wine while looking distracted through all the crucial moments.

At 9pm I excused myself and re-claimed my shoes.  I went back into the function room where I was sure I could smell food.  I felt no shame in being first to attack the buffet.

And now the Year 2 Social is done and dusted but I have a Year 12 function to attend with Arabella on Sunday – it’s a high tea with no mention of sports!  I’m sure I can’t go wrong with stilettos.

Back to the pears.

I made a tarte tartin.  The recipes I had all used apples so I just substituted pears.  Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial was kind enough to send me a recipe.  Celia’s tarte tartin certainly looks better than mine but what mine is lacking in attractiveness it made up for in flavour.  I can definitely recommend making a tarte tartin with pears.  But to have a look at a beautifully made Tatin, do have a look at Celia’s.

Tarte Tartin

Wonderful with clotted cream

Serves:  6-8

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  This is a very inexpensive dessert especially if you make this during the apple and pear season when these fruits are in abundance and therefore at their cheapest.

For the Pastry:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 125g cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Filling:

  • 125g butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 8 pears, peeled, cored and quartered

Pre-heat the oven to 190C.

For the pastry combine the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and process.  Add 1/4 cup of cold water and process for around 15 seconds.

For the fruit, melt the butter in a large frying pan and sprinkle with the sugar.  Arrange the pears, cut side up, on top of the sugar and cook over a low heat until they are caramelised (about 10 minutes).  Transfer to a pie dish making sure the pears remain cut-side up.

Roll out pastry slightly larger than your pie dish.  Place on top of the pears.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until pastry is golden.  Turn out the tart onto a serving plate (inverting it so the pastry is now on the bottom) and serve warm with clotted cream.

And that’s if for the pears.  There are about six over-ripe ones left and they’ll be cut up and served for breakfast with muesli.

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  1. Awww you poor thing! Having to go hungry, take off obviously more beautiful shoes and lawn bowl? My heart feels for you – though I am sure you remedied yourself with buffet and this amazing looking tart 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Maple Raisin Ice Cream

  2. I’m sure it’s unfair to ask parents to participate at their child’s social! The year 12 high tea sounds much more relaxed.

    I think this is the best pear recipe yet. I may keep saying this though!

  3. I feel for you! I am not very social when it comes to “school functions.” I would have hated to be abandoned by Mr GG :0!!

    I would have thought it was enough that you attended… without the participation.

    Love the look of this tart though 🙂

  4. Magnolia Verandah says:

    I hate games when I am unprepared. Had a look at Celia’s tartin and in comparison I think yours looks pretty good.

  5. I don’t like being forced into sports participation either, especially since I’m not athletic. But it sounds as if you made the best of the situation.

  6. LOL! I love it! I can just picture the whole scene. I can’t believe that didn’t serve at least a little something at the start. Oh, I’m so glad we don’t have socials at the kids school to deal with. The tart tartin looks delicious!

  7. The tartin looks fabulous! Would love a big slice of that, please.

  8. Hahaha I love you Charlie you’re making my day! I can see my self in that spot easily!
    I love the tatin with pears, it looks lovely!

  9. I’m also often very impatient to start eating when there is a buffet and always wonder if no one else is hungry 😉
    I think your tart looks fabulous so if you say it tastes even better, than it must be heavenly!
    When you have apricot season (I’m lost in Australian seasons a bit 😉 ) I recommend an apricot tart (I have adapted it from a French chef’s recipe and it was amazing!).

  10. Oh my- I really don’t like going to functions without my hubby. I can totally see myself showing up in heels, only to be told there was lawn bowling. You are a good sport! And, I just can’t believe those other girls on The Green Team didn’t apply themselves…haha 😉

  11. Hi Charlie .. bowling is remarkably difficult – I gave it a go in South Africa .. getting down to bowl was bad enough .. and I was younger then … glad it turned out ok … oh yes – I don’t do stilettos …. love the story .. cheers Hilary

  12. I love tatins.. especially their name! You did an awesome job!! I might try to make this with stiletto’s on 😉

  13. The tatins looks very yummy, easy to make and I just love it:)

  14. The tarte tatin looks spectacuar!!! Bowling isn’t my thing either!!

  15. I think you should have just kept on those stilettos to add a bit of spice to the game! LOL

    The idea of the tarte tatin with pears is inspired. Recipe looks easy as well, which is always a plus.

  16. LOL Charlie you are so funny 🙂 Poor you having to go play sports in stilettos sighhh they should let you guys eat first and not force everyone to play… i had to laugh that it’s a pear tarte tartin hehe you’re still on your pear diet 😛 YUM YUM ~

    Hope the high tea is better ~

  17. I’ve been to a few buffets in sports clubs in Australia – pretty decent. I would be tempted to forego bowling also.
    I didn’t see pear recipe yesterday, was worried that you’d forgotten those pears:)
    BTW I read that “bartlett pears can be stored for a few months; Anjou pears can be stored for 5-7 months” in the coldest part of the refrigerator (0 degrees)

  18. Charlie, your pear tarte tatin looks delicious, and thanks for the linky! How’s the pear count going? Do you have many left? 😉

    Just think, Alfie is in Year 2 now, so that’s just another…hmm, let’s see…oh yes, another ten years or so of school functions and you’ll be off scott free… 😉

  19. Looks delicious! I don’t think it lacks in attractiveness at all…

    As much as I would like my son to stop growing up so quickly, I must admit that I don’t miss all of the school functions.

  20. This sounds like a very simple dish but is, I imagine, very tasty. As so many French dishes seem to be.

  21. Wow that tarte tartin looks amazing. That top looks superb! I never understood lawn bowls…..

  22. Yummy tart indeed! I think its terrible to have to perform for your supper- especially if there’s alcohol involved 🙂 High tea is much more civilized!

  23. There’s nothing worse than not being fed at a function. If you’re anything like me you’re really hungry by the time you get there in anticipation of all the food!

  24. Sorry you had to take off your shoes to bowl. And no food? They probably wanted people participating in bowling, and no one would bowl if they could eat instead.

    The tarte tatin looks fabulous – what a great dessert!

  25. I hate having to wait for food when I’m hungry – and to be thrown into bowling as well! Oh well, the things we do for our kids. I hope the food was worth waiting for.

  26. No food until after the bowl? Were they afraid you athletes would get cramps? Well, at least someone had the sense to keep the bar open.

    Just today I watched a TV cook make an apple tatin. It looked good — but yours looks better. Guess which one I’ll be making? Thanks for sharing!

  27. Its quite dangerous to serve alcohol, but no food and then throw hard balls around. Someone could have been hurt:) It is a shame to see the last of the pears. I cannot wait to see what you do with the next giveaway from an event. I have such fun reading your blog.

  28. Oh dear, I was always the last picked for games, probably for similar reasons 🙂 And isn’t Celia great?

  29. You can never go wrong with heels — or tarte tatin. They are both perfection in their own way. 😉

  30. Oh, I’m sure I would’ve just sat out because I wouldn’t have taken my shoes off. Good for you! And, your tart looks divine.

  31. Thats why they call it barefoot bowls!!!

  32. How rude not to mention there would be bowling – hmm! 9pm is way too late to start eating dinner too, well I think so.
    Brilliant recipe – a simple recipe that produces a taste-explosion pleasure.
    🙂 Mandy

  33. I would have worn heels too! Love the tart tatin! Great use of pears!

  34. Did you know that we can’t find clotted cream here in the US? At least not easily. (and the stuff we can find is jarred and NOT very good.) It’s so very sad. So very , very sad.

  35. Oh no better you than me. I dont remember my son having any of these hideous gatherings….. or maybe I just missed the notes!. Your tart tartine still looks delish….

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