Pear tarte tatin can be served warm with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. Photo by: Sara E Crowder/Katie Workman via AP
September 20, 2017 10:33:05 AM
Taxi cab confession: Before now, I had never made a tarte tatin. It sounded just plain scary -- flipping a pan over so that the fruit ends up on top and the crust ends up on the bottom. Such drama! Why would anyone put themselves through such angst?
But there I was just minding my own business, and suddenly it was pear season, and the voluptuous, colorful, squatty fruits were everywhere. I bought some puff pastry, gave myself a big old pep talk, and turned up the music. An hour later, my first pear tatin was a success. A few pears stuck to the pan when I inverted it, but I pulled them off and settled them back into place on the tarte, and no one was the wiser.
And while I will have to accomplish a few more successful tarte tatins to feel as though it is no longer intimidating, I am now on my way. I can envision that day when I will be able to say with casual confidence: "Oh, can I bring a dessert? How about a tarte tatin?"
You want your pears to be just ripe, but not soft. They need to hold their shape in the baking. Buy yourself some good ice cream for this -- you and your tarte tatin deserve it.
In closing, I take a moment yet again to profess my abiding love for premade puff pastry. I may be excited to add tarte tatins to my repertoire, but I'm pretty far away from wanting to make my own puff pastry.
PEAR TARTE TATIN
Serves 6 to 8
Start to finish: 1 hour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 just-ripe but firm Anjou or Barlett pears
All-purpose flour for rolling out the pastry
1 sheet (1/2 of a 17/3 ounce package) puff pastry, either refrigerated and cool, or, if frozen, thawed according to package directions but still slightly chilled
Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream to serve