Many of the French families we know save desserts for the weekend and every village has its pâtisserie and on Saturday and Sunday mornings the shop window will be artfully crammed with gateaux, tarts and pièces montées.
Simple seasonal desserts with a little twist are what guests staying at Les Hauts Pâturages can expect.
Serves 6 - 8
600g of pears, ripe but firm, small is best. Peeled, halved & cored.
Juice of half a lemon
150g ready-made puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 180ºdegrees/gas 6
Toss the peeled and halved pears in the lemon juice (to stop them turning brown). Set aside.
Gently melt the sugar in a frying pan until dissolved. Turn up the heat and cook for 4 - 5 mins until a gold caramel colour. Pour over the bottom of the pie dish then arrange the pears, core side up in the pie dish, packing them tightly. Do this carefully as the caramel will be hot.
Dot with butter and bake for 15 - 30 mins depending on how hard the pears were.
Roll out the pastry into a circle a few centimetres large than the pie dish. Put the pastry on top of the pears, tucking the edges down the sides with a flat blade knife.
Cut a couple of holes in the pastry to allow the seam to escape. Place in the oven for 20 - 25 mins or until the pastry is golden and risen.
Leave the tart to cool in the dish for 5 mins. Run a knife around the edge of the dish and turn upside down on a serving plate. Serve warm with ice-cream or cream.