Poached Pear Tarte Tatin to wish a Happy Birthday to King Shaka International Airport.

Today is a very special day for the Province of KwaZulu-Natal!  It’s the birth day of our brand spanking new, state of the art, beautiful, very modern and shiney, hi-tech, oodles of parking, sexier than eva …. King Shaka International airport.  This beauty rises out of the verdant sugarcane fields and stands proud like the alpha male lion and is definately the leader in the pack. I am excited – i am excited for all of you to see it – it is breathtakingly awsome.   The mighty King Shaka who rests not far away in what is now known as Stanger – must be very proud.  The Zulu Kingdom is rising up and stands firm and proud as he did  with his famous spear as his side. 


You may ask why I am getting so into this event?  Well, for the last six months my hubby has virtually lived there.  NO – he is not doing a Tom Hanks in The Terminal trick –  our engineering business has been working there, together with an army of other companies.  We are an engineering and project management company – and have been up to our eye balls in stainless steel, trolley bays, the cargo building and trade port etc etc etc.  This new airport has been a mammoth undertaking from all persepectives.  The big push – in these last few weeks has seen many companies and their amazing crews working through public holidays, weekends and many many nights!  I would like to pay homage to the “little” people today,  Yes, the large firms and architects – the biggies have performed and met deadlines.  The big ‘Numzaans” have put on their suits and smiled successfully for the cameras with our president and dignitaries “the important people”

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etc – but ONLY through the hard work of the little people, the welders, steel workers, brick layers, electricians, tilers, glazers, . sweepers and cleaners – i will have to find out how many man and woman hours have been worked in order to achieve todays celebration.  Well done to everyone who has put their hearts and souls into the creation of this beautiful aiport.   It’s a birthday – and on birthdays we mark the event with a birthday cake.  Here is mine – a Tarte Tatin made with pears poached in red wine, rosemary, star anice, spice and all things nice!  Happy Birthday King Shaka Airport xxx




Ingredients for the Poached Pears


12 pears

1/2 bottle of red wine

4 tbs cointreau

1 cup sugar

cinemon sticks

2 star anise

4 cardamon pods

2 nice long sprigs of fresh rosemary

the rind of 1 lemon

5 cloves

1 medium knob of ginger sliced

1 vanilla pod

boiling water

1 piece of grease proof paper – optional


Pre-heat your oven to 220degrees.



Peel the pears, leaving the stalks on.


In a pot – bring the red wine to a simmer and add the sugar, spices,lemon peel,

 vanilla pod, cointreau and rosemary and simmer them for about 10 minutes

 to get all the aromatics going – your kitchen will smell like heaven –

now add the pears to the pot -

 you will need to add some boiling water so that the pears are fully submerged in liquid.


  Place the grease proof paper on the top – to keep the pears under the liquid and

poach them for 45 minutes on a gentle simmer.





Carefully remove the pears and set aside.

Reduce the poaching liquid right down

to 1 cup of liquid.  This takes a good 45 minutes.


Ingredients for the Tart Tatin


1 roll of puff pastry (or you can make your own if you have lost your

marbles and feel the need to labour … hehehe)

1 1/2 cups of Demerera sugar

120g of butter – cut into cubes

6 tbl of water

1 vanilla pod


Cut the stalks off the pears – cut them in half and remove

the core by making a v-shape incision in the centre.


Butter a suitable dish ie.  an ovenproof dish – i used a paella pan and

covered the wooden handles in some tin foil to protect them from the heat of the oven.


Arrange the pears in the centre of the pan. They look like

blushing little brides – this is a very pretty dish all the way through.





In a saucepan – add the sugar and water and gently bring

to the boil – do not stir the mixture – you can swirl it around the saucepan

but don’t stir – and  remember that when you work with sugar you need to

stay with the pot – DON’T LEAVE IT ALONE – if you do it will

surely punish you by either burning or boiling over – both of which you just don’t want.


So, in the interest of your good humour and personal safety stay

with it and stare lovingly at it as it gently comes to the boil.


Now add the knobs of butter and now you can stir it.


Allow it to cook gently for about 4 -5 minutes then combine some (about 1/2 a cup) of the

spicey red wine reduction with it and pour it over the pears.


Quickly roll out your puff pastry to cover the pears – trim into a cirle – and

cover the pears and tuck the sides in like you would tuck a little

child into bed.


Prick the top all over and put into the oven at 220d for 10 minutes, then

turn it down to 180degrees for a further 25 -30 minutes.




When the Tarte Tatin comes out of the oven – allow to cool

for a few (5) minutes and then turn on to your serving plate which

needs to be a bit bigger than the tart.


Cut slices and serve with some of Woolies thick cream.

Don’t promise to take keep a piece of tart for anyone who is not at the table for

any reason because there won’t be any leftovers.


Buon Appetito










Scorpio, RED WINE, Dalmatians, VINO, my men, Mamma Estraordinaria, massive pots of pasta, la famiglia, candle light, designer Handbags, Adult Survivor, Red Lipstick, writing, drumming, painting, red RED and Pasta .... lots of it!


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