Pear and Honey Tatin with Allspice Ice Cream Recipe

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Pear and Honey Tatin with Allspice Ice Cream photo
Pear and Honey Tatin with Allspice Ice Cream photo
(Image credit: The Spice Men)

This recipe is taken from, The Incredible Spice Men, £20, published by BBC Books.


  • 6 pears, as ripe as possible
  • 100g (4oz) unsalted butter
  • 100g (4oz) honey
  • 75g (3oz) soft brown sugar
  • 375g (13oz) all-butter puff pastry

For the allspice ice cream:

  • 400ml (14fl oz) milk
  • 400ml (14fl oz) double cream
  • 2 tbsp ground allspice
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar


  1. First make the ice cream. Pour the milk and cream into a pan, stir in the allspice and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, beat the yolks and sugar together until the mixture becomes thick, smooth and creamy

  2. Very gradually pour the hot cream mixture through a fine sieve (it needs to be a fine sieve to strain out as much of the allspice as possible) into the sweetened yolk mixture, mixing as you do so. The hot liquid needs to be mixed in slowly at first, to avoid curdling; once half is added, you can add the rest more quickly, mixing well

  3. Return the mixture to a low-medium heat and stir continuously until it starts to thicken so that it coats the back of a spoon; this should take about 10minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight

  4. Churn the chilled mixture in an ice cream machine, following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour the mixture into a deep, wide dish and put it in the freezer. After 45minutes, as it’s starting to freeze around the edges, remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture thoroughly to break up any frozen pieces. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes and repeat this process. Continue to do this at 30minute intervals until you have the desired texture

  5. To make the pear and honey tatin, peel the pears, cut them in half lengthways and remove the core

  6. Heat a heavy-based 25cm(10in) ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Add the butter, honey and sugar, and heat until smooth and liquid, stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Then allow to bubble, stirring occasionally, for about 5minutes until the mixture has coloured to a deep golden brown caramel; don’t let it get too dark as it will caramelise a little further during baking

  7. Carefully add the pears, cut-side up, to the very hot caramel in the pan, and leave to cool for about 15minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4

  8. Roll out the puff pastry to a 5mm (¼in) thick circle slightly larger than the top of the pan. Drape the pastry over the pears and caramel, and tuck it in at the sides so that it goes down the inside of the pan – like tucking in a blanket. Bake for about 40minutes until the pastry is completely cooked

  9. Remove the tatin from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out the tatin by placing a deep-sided plate or shallow dish over the pan and carefully (using oven gloves as the pan will still be hot) flip the pan over. You need to be really careful when you do this, as if the pears are particularly juicy then some hot juice may spill out as you flip the pan. If you cool the tatin for too long before turning it out the caramel will set and everything will stick to the pan; if this happens, set the pan over a low heat for a minute to just soften the caramel. Serve the tatin warm, topped with the ice cream