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Author Notes: The inspiration for this recipe was 1) a newly-purchased Le Creuset tarte tatin pan and 2) a recipe in Food & Wine (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pear-tarte-tatin-with-red-wine-caramel). How can you go wrong with red wine and pears? Add some caramel and pastry to the mix...and I'm in heaven. I make a pâte sucrée crust, but in a pinch, store-bought puff pastry works really well. It theoretically serves 8, but I've made it for 4 and we've licked the plate clean. Actually, we just scooed up the extra caramel in the pan with a spatula.
A few tips
1) watch the red wine caramel carefully and keep over low to medium heat so that it doesn't burn
2) cut your pears into quarters instead of halves; halves are more traditional, but quarters are easier to cut and eat (in the cooked tarte)
This would also be great for Rosh Hashana with apples instead of pears. - koshercamembert —zahavah
Food52 Review: First and foremost, red wine caramel is a revelation and needs to be used more often. The taste of a really good red wine in caramel is awesome. My tip to novice tarte tatin makers (like myself) would be to not worry if the caramel looks thin. I thought caramel was supposed to look very thick and simmered my pears longer than the time called for in the recipe thinking it would get thicker. As a result, my pears stuck to the pan and flipping the tarte onto a plate ended up producing a slight mess. Although not as pretty as the picture here, it was delicious! I plan to try this again during the holidays as it would be a great special occasion dessert. - VanessaS —VanessaS
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, partially frozen
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons cold water
red wine caramel and pear tarte tatin
- 2 cups red wine (I've made it with house red, Bordeaux, and Cabernet)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3-4 Bartlett or d'Anjou pears
- 1 batch of pâte brisée or sucrée or puff pastry
- Pâte sucrée. Put all ingredients except the water in food processor. Pulse about a dozen times until the mixture starts to come together. Add ice water a little at a time and pulse a few times with each addition. Stop when the dough looks like couscous. Freeze for about 30 minutes (or store in freezer until the next time you want to make a tarte and then defrost for about 20 minutes so it is easy to roll out).
- Preheat. Preheat oven to 400°F
- Reduce. Bring wine and cinnamon sticks to a boil, reducing down to about 1/4 C of syrup. This takes about 10 minutes. The kitchen will start to smell like cinnamon.
- Caramelize. In the tarte tatin pan, melt butter in the wine syrup over low-medium heat (I use #4 on my induction oven), add the sugar, and swirl around until the mixture turns into a caramel.
- Cut. While the wine is boiling and then the sugar is caramelizing, peel and core the pears. I used a mini melon baller to help core them. I have made this with halves and quarters and find that while halves may look prettier, quarters make the tarte easier easier to slice and eat.
- Cook. Arrange the halves (cut side up) or quarters (on their sides) in a circle around the pan (still on low heat) with thin ends pointed in. Cook for 20-25 minutes over low heat. The caramel will bubble up as as the pears soften and pear juices seep out.
- Roll. Take cold pâte sucrée out of freezer/fridge and roll between two sheets of wax paper into a circle about 1-2 inches larger than your tatin pan. Remove the top sheet, flip the crust over the fruit, and peel away the wax paper, tucking the dough in around the edges.
- Bake. Bake 30 minutes until crust turns a nice brown.
- Unveil. After cooling the tarte for a few minutes, place a plate (slightly larger than the tatin pan) over the pan, hold your breath for a second, and carefully flip the tatin onto the plate. Excellent warm or at room temperature. Try it with vanilla ice cream or gelato.