French Dessert Tarte Tatin with Pears for a Seasonal Sweet
My husband arrived from the family orchards with a box of perfect pears. These medium-sized pears were bright green with hints of red and slightly but not too ripe. So I decided that Tarte Tatin aux Poires – Tarte Tatin with Pears- would be on the menu for my upcoming cooking class.
You may already know the story about the Tatin sisters who, in error, created the now-celebrated Tarte Tatin aux Pommes. They may not have been the first cooks to flip a dessert upside down. However, it certainly was the first time at the Hôtel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron near Paris. While aux pommes – with apples is the classic variation of tatin and the one on the menu at Maxim’s in Paris, there are other fruit options such as apricot, quince and even banana. Or try a savoury version with tomatoes.
Tarte Tatin aux Poires
- 1 10-inch skillet oven-proof Note the skillet should be able to go from the stovetop to the oven.
- 1 Serving Plate
- 6-8 Pears Any green/blush variety will do - possible varieties include William, D’Anjou, Bartlett, etc.
- 100 g Granulated Sugar
- 50 g Unsalted Butter cubed
- 45 ml Water
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
Pâte Brisée Ingredients
- 200 g All-purpose flour
- 125 g Unsalted Butter very cold and cubed
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 Egg
- Water Amount varies
Optional ingredients to serve with
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Whipped Cream
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), no fan
- Prepare the Pâte Brisée, if making from scratch and wrap and chill to rest. If not, move to the next step.
Prepare the Pâte Brisée:
- In a food processor, combine 200g all-purpose flour, 125 g diced, very cold unsalted butter and a pinch of salt.
- Pulse until the butter is pea-sized, and add 1 egg
- Pulse to combine
- Add 1 tablespoon of ice water at a time, pulsing between additions until the mixture forms a ball in the mixer. Once this happens, stop adding water.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, forming a 5-inch x 1-inch disc, and wrap well with plastic wrap.
- Place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Beyond 4 hours, you risk drying out the dough. At this stage, you can wrap and freeze the dough for up to 1 month, defrosting it overnight before you want to use it.
- Place the sugar, water, and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook until the water has evaporated, the mixture is bubbling, and it is a light golden brown.
- Cut pears in quarters, remove seeds and gently toss them with a few pinches of sugar and ground ginger, then carefully place them into the skillet to cook in the caramel for 5-7 minutes.
- The pears will release their water and caramelize, which is good!
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool
- Once cooled, remove the pastry dough from the fridge and cut to fit the skillet. You’ll want about a finger width of the border around the skillet.
- Lay the pastry on top of the pears and, using your fingers, gently tuck the pastry around the sides of the skillet, tucking in the pears to the pastry.
- Using a paring knife, pierce the dough several times to allow air and steam to escape during baking.
- Place skillet into oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before using a plate to invert.
- Serve fruit side up with creme fraiche, whipped cream or ice cream on the side.