Grow your own pears and tuck into a delicious tarte tatin

Pears make for a lovely addition to any garden, bearing delicious fruit, and an attractive ornamental look. We’ve paired some growing tips from BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine and a tantalising tarte recipe as seen at the BBC Good Food Show Summer.

If you’ve already got pear trees, you are probably enjoying the reaps of your harvest already. With some help from our friends at BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, we’ve put together some top growing tips for pear trees to inspire you to get growing at home. What’s more, we’ve also got a delicious recipe in store for your pear produce as seen on the Big Kitchen at the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2022. Find out more below about how to make your own homegrown pear tarte tatin from John Torode and Lisa Faulkner.

How to grow

  • Pear trees like moist but well-drained soil in full to partial shade
  • Mulch annually with manure or compost
  • To protect your trees from frost, plant them against a south-facing wall or fence
  • When planting, dig a square shaped hole to allow the roots to spread out evenly. Dress the top of the soil generously with mulch

Similar to apple trees, most varieties of pear trees rely on a pollinating partner. For the best results, make sure to plant two pear trees to help them pollinate successfully.

Bare-root pear trees should be planted when dormant, between November and March. Potted pear trees can be planted in other times of the year. 

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Caring for your pear trees

  • Watch out for frosts and provide fleecing to protect from cold snaps
  • Mulch annually in spring and water in dry spells
  • Pear trees can be pruned when dormant in midwinter – remove any dead, diseased or dying branches
  • In summer, improve air circulation by pruning to enrich the shape and health of your tree, making sure fruits can develop and ripen

You should be able to harvest your pears from late August. Pick them when the fruit is still firm to the touch. Cup the fruit in your hand and twist off gently. Store in a cool dark place where the fruits will ripen.

Feeling inspired? Why not try making a warming pear tarte tatin, as seen at the BBC Good Food Show Summer at the 2022 Show. Find out more below…

Pear tarte tatin

This recipe is from the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2022, as seen on the Big Kitchen at the BBC Good Food Show Summer with John Torode and Lisa Faulkner.

Ingredients

  • 100g salted butter
  • 4 pears, peeled and cut  into quarters lengthways
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1 heaped teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 pack ready-rolled puff pastry
  • ice cream or crème fraiche, to serve
    john torode and lisa faulkner
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    Method

    1.Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. In an ovenproof heavy-based frying pan, melt the butter and add the sugar, pears, vanilla seeds and pod. Cook for about 10-15 minutes and keep stirring so the pears don’t stick to the pan. Then, turn the heat up and cook for another 10-15 minutes. The pears and sugary butter should turn a lovely golden caramelised brown. Be careful not to let it burn – keep watching and shake the pan to prevent any sticking.

    2.If you don’t have an ovenproof pan, transfer the pears and sugary butter to a 20cm pie dish. Next, roll the pastry out to just slightly larger than your pan or pie dish to around 1cm thick. 

    3.Lay the pastry over the pears and tuck it around the edges to form an upside-down tart. Bake for 30-40 minutes in the oven.

    4.Once out of the oven, use a large serving dish to place over the top of the tart and turn the tart over.

    5.Serve warm with ice cream or a dollop of crème fraiche.