Bistro Vue Tarte Tatin

23 Dec

Earlier this year went to Bistro Vue and James loved the tarte tatin. So like a dutiful pampered housewife I looked online to see if I could make something similar, and as it turned out, Gourmet Traveller has the exact recipe. I didn’t want to make it immediately because I didn’t want mine to suffer in comparison, but I promised him that I would make it for his birthday.

Since we went to Akita I didn’t end up making the tart and I think James kind of forgot about it. I think it actually worked out better that way though! He was upstairs on the computer while I was cooking and said he heard me banging around downstairs but figured I was just doing some regular baking. But I wasn’t! I was doing special baking!

And when I brought it upstairs James turned to look at me, and then he saw the tart, and let out this happy, surprised gasp.

The picture doesn’t really give a sense of perspective, but this was a pretty big tart. The glass plate it was on was bigger than a dinner plate.

I love the flecks of vanilla. I didn’t get a picture of the vanilla anglaise, but it also had vanilla flecks and smelled delicious. I think next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll use a smidge less butter and maybe an extra pear.



  • 90g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 small Packham pears, peeled, halved and cores removed
  • 150g puff pastry (I just used a single pre-made sheet)

Vanilla Anglaise (makes enough for about 2-3 tarts)

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped


  1. Preheat oven to 190C.
  2. For Vanilla Anglaise, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Heat milk, cream and vanilla beans and seeds in a small heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to the boil.
  3. Gradually add milk to yolk mixture, whisking to combine, then return to a clean saucepan (which I totally did not do).
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes or until custard coats the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine sieve into a mixing bowl over ice, stirring occasionally until cool.
  5. Anglaise will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  6. Evenly scatter butter over the base of a shallow 15cm frying pan with an oven-proof handle, then scatter sugar and mixed spice. Cross vanilla bean halves, then arrange pears on top, cut-side up, placing a clove in each pear half.
  7. Cover pears with pastry, tucking around pears. Place pan over medium heat, and as butter starts to melt, spoon liquid over pastry. Cook for 5 minutes or until butter and sugar caramelises and is golden.
  8. Place pan in oven for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and spoon caramel over pastry. Place a serving plate on top of pan, invert plate and pan, and turn tart out onto the plate.
  10. Serve immediately with anglaise to the side.

I used a much bigger frying pan than the recipe recommended because I didn’t have a 15cm one. The bigger frying pan worked really well though, and created a tarte about the size of the one that we had at Bistro Vue.

I remember when we first ordered it James was like “wow, this is a really good size!” and then he found out the tart was actually supposed to serve two.

He got this one to himself, though he did offer me the occasional bite. He ate the tart so happily that I was aglow with chefly pride for the rest of the night.


Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
1 tart with half the anglaise: 2273 calories, 56% fat, 4% protein, 41% carbs


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