Monday, November 23, 2009

Caramelized pear Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin is a famous French dessert that is traditionally made with apples. This variation with pears is my favorite.

3 ripe pears, peeled
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
pinch dried ginger
1 sheet refrigerated puff pastry

Slice the pears very thinly using either a sharp knife or mandolin. Cut out any pieces of the core then set slices aside.

Over medium heat, heat sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a non-stick skillet. Cook, swirling occasionally, until it reaches a golden caramel color, about 7-8 minutes.

Add the butter to skillet, swirling it into the mixture. Pour the caramelized sugar into a round baking dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of ginger.

Add pear slices, working your way from the outside in, overlapping slices to create a circular pattern until you reach the middle. Continue until all slices are used. (Since the tarte will be inverted, use the prettiest pieces first!)

Lay the puff pastry over the top of pear slices. Fold under the loose edges and fit pastry to the skillet. Make a couple small slits in the puff pastry to allow steam to escape. Cook in preheated oven at 375° for 10 minutes until pastry is golden, about 25-35 minutes.

Remove skillet from oven and let the tarte set for about 15 minutes. Gently loosen pastry edges from skillet. Place a cookie sheet or larger round baking dish carefully over the tarte. In one quick motion, flip the skillet and invert the tarte.

Pour any pear syrup back over the pears and pastry crust. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until the edges darken and caramelize.

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