A gorgeous way to use up spare pears and everyone will enjoy their sweet and sticky flavour.
8 British Conference Pears, peeled, cored and cut in half lengthways
100g caster sugar
2 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 large cinnamon stick
2 tbsp brandy
A 500g block all-butter puff pastry
Put the sugar, butter and spices into an ovenproof frying pan, about 20cm wide, place on a high heat until bubbling. Stir the sauce until it separates and the sugar caramelises into a toffee colour.
Lay the pears in the pan flat side down and cook in the sauce for 10 minutes and cover with sauce until completely caramelised. Put the brandy in the pan and heat for a few seconds then set the pears aside to cool slightly.
Heat your oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll the pastry to be 3mm thick and with a round plate slightly larger than the top of the pan, cut out a circle.
Put the pears back into the pan and arrange with the flat side up with the pears around the edge pointing inwards.
Drape the pastry over the pears and tuck the edges into the pan sides. With a fork pierce the pastry a few times, then bake for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and bake for another 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes before placing a plate over the top and flipping the pan over to reveal the tart fruit side up. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.