2. Core the pears, then peel as neatly as possible and halve. They can be prepared up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge, uncovered, so that they dry out.
3. Tip the sugar, butter into an ovenproof frying pan, about 20cm wide, and place over a high heat until bubbling. Shake the pan and stir the buttery sauce until it separates and the sugar caramelises. Add the lemon juice and pears into the pan, and cook in the sauce for 10-12 mins, tossing occasionally, until completely caramelised. Then set the pears aside.
4. Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out a piece slightly larger than the pan, then press the edges of the pastry to thin them.
5. When the pears have cooled slightly, arrange them in the pan, cut side up. Drape the pastry over the pears, remember to tuck the edges down the pan sides and under the fruit using a spoon or fork.
6. Pierce the pastry a few times, then bake for 15 mins. If a lot of juice bubbles up the side of the pan, pour it off at this stage (be careful to avoid burning yourself with the hot pan or the molten sauce).
7. Reduce oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and bake for 15 mins more until the pastry is golden. Leave the tart to stand for 10 mins, then invert it carefully onto a serving dish.
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This pudding is dangerously tasty, hot or cold. As I said, it won’t last long but the flip side of this is, that if you eat too much at once – you might die of a heart attack.