There something magic in a dessert when you now its origin, or how it was invented by its creator. Tarte Tatin, the famous caramelized upside-down apple tart, has become such a favorite pudding that it’s hard to believe that it was invented only this century, by the Tatin sisters, who lived in the village of Lamotte-Beuvron near Orleans in France. Patricia Wells’s version uses pears instead of apples. Both are delicious and you can choose that with your favorite fruit. The creator of Tarte Tatin, suggests serving it warm with a blob of creme fraiche, which of course is good, but you can also use vanilla ice cream or whipped cream spiked with a little Poire William eau-de-vie.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 7 to 8 firm pears preferably Bosc or Anjou, peeled, quartered, and cored
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 recipe Pate Brisee
- 1 cup creme Fraiche or soured
Preheat the oven to 220 grade Celsius. Melt the butter in a deep 30 cm skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the pears and sugar. Cook, stirring carefully to time to time so the pears and sugar are a deep, golden brown, about 15 more minutes. You can stop the cooking a bit soon, so it doesn’t burn. But the tart will be much prettier and taste better if you take time to allow the pears to to turn a true golden brown.
Literally pile the pears into an unbuttered round 26cm clear glass baking dish or a special tin-lined copper Tarte Tatin pan.
Roll out the pate brisee (the recipe below) slightly larger than the dish. Place the pastry on top of the pears, tucking a bit of the dough around the edges and down into the dish. You do not need to prick the dough.
Place the tart in the center of the oven and bake until the pears bubble and the pastry is a deep, golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
Regarding the pate brisee, you have to mix these ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons (or more) cold water
Whisk flour, salt, and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter, rub in with fingertips. Add 4 tablespoons cold water. Work mixture with fingertips until dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°F. Roll out dough on floured work surface to 9 cm round. Carefully transfer dough to 7 cm spring form pan. Press dough onto bottom pressing to adhere to sides. Fold down and roll 1.27 cm of dough sides inward, forming double-thick edge at top of crust sides. Using dull edge of small knife, make small indentations at 1.27 cm intervals on double-thick edge. Chill 20 minutes.
Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust until sides of crust are set, about 18 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Pierce bottom of crust all over with fork. Continue to bake until bottom is set and pale golden, about 14 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool in pan on rack.