I like this dessert because I like most upside-down things. This rustic tart with a circle of pears gets its origins from the French apple tart Tatin, and can be a beautiful alternative to classic American apple pie. This dessert feels more like cooking than baking; you don't even need a pie tin. And if you feel like it, you can just use premade dough. P.S. Caramel is not as scary as it's made out to be, as long as you don't touch it.
Recipe courtesy of Heather Ramsdell
Upside-Down Pear Cranberry Tart
Total:
2 hr 5 min
Active:
30 min
Yield:
One 9-inch pie
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
2 hr 5 min
Active:
30 min
Yield:
One 9-inch pie
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 5) hard Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Juice from 1 lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystalized ginger
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 Pie Crust, recipe follows, or 2 refrigerated store-bought crusts, rolled together
  • Creme fraiche, for serving, optional
Pie Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the pears, nutmeg and half of the lemon juice together in a bowl. 

Melt the butter with the remaining lemon juice, the salt and 3 tablespoons water in a heavy ovenproof 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the sugar into the skillet and stir to combine. Cook the mixture without stirring, letting it foam and bubble; the butter will separate, which is OK. Watch the mixture carefully while it cooks because once the water evaporates and the sugar begins to change color, things happen quickly. When it becomes the color of light brown sugar, about 10 minutes, remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. 

Being careful not to burn yourself, sprinkle the cranberries and ginger into the caramel. Arrange the pears in the skillet round side-down in concentric circles as nicely as you can, fitting in as many pears as possible. 

Return the skillet to the burner over medium heat and cook until the pears start to soften when you poke them with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. 

While your pears cook, roll out your Pie Crust on a flour-dusted surface to an 11-inch circle. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Lay the crust over the pears, tucking it in around the edge of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Bake until the crust is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. 

Allow the tart to cool until you can handle it, about 10 minutes. Put a plate on top of the tart using heatproof pads and flip it over so the pears are on top. Slice and serve warm with creme fraiche, if using. 

Pie Crust:

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed but still visible in chunks. While pulsing, add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is just wet enough to hold together when pinched between your fingers. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, form into a disc and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Cook's Note

This tart tastes great served warm but if you decide to serve it chilled, turn it out and chill it without the pan. The tart will release lots of liquid, but I found that later it will re-absorb it. Stop cooking the caramel when it turns the color of light tea. Once it begins to change color, that means it's cooking fast. If you want it to stop the cooking, take it off the stove and put a big metal spoon in it.

Categories:

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Maple Pear Upside-Down Cake

Upside-Down Apple French Toast with Cranberries and Pecans

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Free-Form Apple-Pear-Cranberry Tart

Recipe courtesy of Amy Traverso

Quick Pear Tart

Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson

Pear Chocolate Upside-Down Cake

Pear and Cranberry Crostata

Recipe courtesy of Joanne Chang

Pear-Cranberry Crumble

Recipe courtesy of Corky Pollan

Cranberry-Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Recipe courtesy of Zoe Francois

Honey-Glazed Apple Pear Tart

Recipe courtesy of Kelsey Nixon

Cooking Tips 3 Videos

Step-by-step photos

Eggs 101: Poached 01:24

These easy steps will have you poaching eggs to perfection in no time.

Similar Topics:

On TV

Luke Nguyen's France

7:30am | 6:30c

Luke Nguyen's France

8:30am | 7:30c

Luke Nguyen's France

9:30am | 8:30c

Cupcake Wars

10am | 9c

Cupcake Wars

11am | 10c

Cupcake Wars

12pm | 11c

Cupcake Wars

1pm | 12c

Cheap Eats

2pm | 1c

Cheap Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Cheap Eats

3pm | 2c

Cheap Eats

3:30pm | 2:30c

Cheap Eats

4pm | 3c

Cheap Eats

4:30pm | 3:30c

Cheap Eats

5pm | 4c

Cheap Eats

5:30pm | 4:30c

Cheap Eats

6pm | 5c

Cheap Eats

6:30pm | 5:30c

Man Fire Food

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Great Food Truck Rally

8pm | 7c

Man Fire Food

9:30pm | 8:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Man Fire Food

1am | 12c

Man Fire Food

1:30am | 12:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c

So Much Pretty Food Here