Monday, November 3, 2014

Caramelized Pear Ginger Tart (Video)

YouTube Link: Caramelized Pear Ginger Tart
More Videos: Helen's Kitchen Channel

Caramelized Pear Ginger Tart

Note about skillet: I use a 10 inch stainless steel all-clad or tramontina skillet. Non-stick pans also work. Cast iron might be a bit heavy to lift and flip. If you haven't done much weight lifting in the gym lately, this might not be the best pan for this tart.

In advance tip: You can cook the pears and roll out the dough earlier in the day, but start baking the tart no earlier than 1 hour before serving. The pears tend to wrinkle as the tart cools off and don't taste quite as good as when it's just baked.  The dough should be refrigerated after rolling out, but the pears should not be refrigerated after cooking (this can turn the caramel runny).

Burnt pears tip: If the pears burnt a little, don't panic. Take a paring knife and slice a sliver off the top after baking and inverting the tart. I prefer the pears and caramel to be more brown rather than less.

4 large Bosc pears (buy 5 just in case)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tbsp minced ginger (optional)
Pâte Brisée (pie and tart dough) for one 10-inch tart (see the videos below)

Make the dough at least 1 day before baking
Dough video by hand
Dough video with a food processor
Rolling out pie dough video

Peel, halve, and core pears. In a 9- to 10-inch heavy skillet heat butter over moderate heat until foam subsides. Stir in sugar (sugar will not be dissolved). Arrange pears, cut sides up, in skillet, with the skinny end of pears pointing into the middle of the pan. If you have a half of pear left over, cut a circle out of it and place it in the middle of the skillet domed side down. The pears will make a sort of flower in the skillet. Cook without stirring until sugar mixture forms a deep golden caramel. (This can take as little as 10 minutes or as much as 25, depending on skillet and stove.) Cool pears completely in skillet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and ginger.

Preheat oven to 425°F and set a rack in the upper third of the oven. On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll out dough into a 12-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick) and arrange over pears. Tuck edges into the skillet around pears. Bake tart in the upper third of the oven until pastry is deep brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes, but not longer. Have ready a rimmed serving plate slightly larger than skillet. Invert plate over skillet and, wearing oven mitts and keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together, invert tart onto plate. Do this over the sink in case some juices spill. This is a bit scary, but it works! The trick is to do it in one very fast motion. Let cool until warm, 10-15 minutes. Serve tart warm with whipped cream or creme fraiche.


Maria said...

Looks amazing! Do you think this could work with puff pastry?

Helen said...

Yes, it could :)

Maria said...

Sorry to hijack this thread :) You've probably already seen this but in case you haven't: the NYT posted an "easy" version of this (with apples), where the caramelization happens with the dough plopped right on, so everything happens in 1 long step (but apples are cut up ahead of time to decrease moisture):
I made that version last night (with TJ puff pastry) and it came out wonderfully. Will try it with Pears next :)

Helen said...

Thanks for another awesome tatin idea :)

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to do this recipe without the skillet? Meaning can I transfer the pears along with the caramel into a pie dish?

Helen said...

Not sure. Have never tried that. Sounds like you need an over safe skillet. They come in handy for so many dishes and you can buy a good one on amazon for about $40.