Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Perfect Pear Tarte Tatin

I just finished watching Julie and Julia.  So, so fabulous!  I read Julie and Julia and My Life In France this winter and loved them, but missed the movie in theaters.  I’m feeling a need to buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking right now.  I’d use it like most of my cookbooks–for particular recipes.  I’m not nearly motivated or crazy enough to cook my way through it!  Great movie.

So, there’s my excuse for not blogging this sooner.  Hopefully you’ll forgive me, especially after you make this recipe.  So good.  So simple.  So pretty:

My good friend Louise made this for us when we were in Denver last weekend, from a recipe in another cookbook I MUST have, The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook.  Just divine.  And easy.  Really.  Look, only a few ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 5-7 pears, peeled, cored, cut in wedges  (I used 6 of these.)
  • 8 TBSP butter  (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP orange liqueur  (Optional.  The Test Kitchen book suggests Grand Marnier–I used Triple Sec and it was yummy!)

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lay puff pastry out on the paper and bake til golden and puffed–10-15 minutes.  Transfer to serving platter and lightly flatten with a spatula.

Peel, core and wedge the pears, set aside. 

Melt butter in a large fry pan over high heat.

Remove pan from heat and sprinkle sugar over the surface of the melted butter.

Return to medium high heat and lay pear wedges over the sugar in a single layer.

Cook until caramelized, about 20-25 minutes, turning pears over about half way through the cooking time.  (Louise used tongs, so did I.)

Remove from heat and lay pears on crust in 3 slightly overlapping rows, leaving a 1/4 inch border.  Spoon about half of the pan juices over the pears.  Add cream and liqueur to remaining pan juices and bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes to cook off the alcohol.  Spoon half of this sauce over the pears, retain the rest for serving.

Cut into squares, add a bit of sauce and whipped cream.  Get ready for your mouth to be extremely happy!

Wow.  This Pear Tarte Tatin is definitely beautiful and delicious enough to make for a special occasion….like dinner tomorrow!  Treat yourself, treat your friends and family.  Make a tatin next time you’re asked to bring dessert–you’ll be a Rock Star!  The recipe can also be made with apples.  They will caramelize more quickly–within 15-20 minutes.  I was tempted to “jazz it up” with nutmeg or cinnamon, but resisted.  The elegant flavor of the tatin needs no jazzing to be absolutely PERFECT!  Yummy!

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Filed under dessert, recipe, Vegetarian

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