Saturday, November 07, 2009
Pear Tarte Tatin
Apple pies, apple tarts, apple butter, apple cider... it's been all apples all the time these days. At the end of fall when you are apple bottomed-out (ha) but have perfected your apple-dessert skills, turn to the pear. When Lora and Joe invited me to a last-minute dinner at their Chicken Bridge house last night with the folks from the Blind Tiger String Band, I remembered seeing a plethora of on-sale pears at the co-op, and found this recipe for a pear version of tarte tatin from the Gourmet Cookbook:
Pear Tarte Tatin
4 large firm yet ripe Bosc pears
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Nothing-in-the-House Pie Crust Recipe (at right), using all-purpose flour
1. Peel, halve, and core pears (with a melon-baller). Heat butter in a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then stir in sugar (sugar will not be dissolved). Arrange pears, cut sides up, in skillet with wide parts facing out. Sprinkle pears with cinnamon and cook undisturbed, until sugar turns a deep golden caramel. (This can take 15- 25 minutes, depending on pears, skillets, and stove.) Cool pears completely in skillet.
2. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and trim to a 9 1/2- to 10 1/2-inch round. Arrange pastry over caramelized pears, tucking edge around pears inside the rim of skillet. Bake tart until pastry is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.
Invert a rimmed serving plate (slightly larger than skillet) over skillet and, using pot holders to hold skillet and plate tightly together, invert tart onto plate. Serve tart warm with vanilla whipped cream.
Though I was nervous about the flip, this recipe was delicious! The pear-carmelization was particularly tasty considering the minimal effort. We enjoyed it after an excellent porch-dinner of field peas, chicken and vegetables, corn bread, and Farmer's Daughter tomato chutney, sauerkraut, and green tomato pickles.
Then we headed to the Nightlight to watch Blind Tiger play some great Kentucky fiddle tunes!