This tart is a recipe that I have adapted from a Gourmet recipe that was published November 1997. Over the years, I have added fresh ginger, chopped toasted pecans, different spices, and it has never disappointed. This version uses a delicious Italian raw honey that lent an earthy fragrant sweetness to the pears. I added some pine nuts for a creamy crunch, and some Meyer lemon zest to the crust. Perfect when paired with simple vanilla bean ice cream.
—at yvonne's table
juice from 1 Meyer lemon (regular lemon would work)
In a bowl, mix together flour, butter, salt and lemon zest with your fingers until it forms a coarse mixture that is mostly pea sized lumps. Drizzle ice water over mixture, starting with 2 tablespoons and mix with a fork until it holds together. If the dough is too dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time. Do not overwork, or add too much water, it will cause the dough to be tough. Turn dough onto your work surface and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. for at least an hour, or up to one day.
Peel, halve,and core pears. Rub with juice from lemon and set aside.
In a 9-10 inch ovenproof non-stick skillet heat butter over moderate heat until foam subsides and stir in the sugar and the honey. Arrange pears, cut sides up, in skillet with base of pears facing the edges of the skillet. (At this point the sugar will not be melted.) Sprinkle pears with the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and cook without stirring until sugar forms a deep golden caramel. This can take up to 20 minutes, watch carefully because it happens quickly. Remove from the heat, scatter the pine nuts over the pears, and cool completely in the skillet.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into an 11-inch round, and arrange over caramelized pears. Tuck the crust around pears. Bake in middle of oven 30-35 minutes until pastry is golden brown. When the tart is done, invert it immediately onto a rimmed serving plate that is slightly larger than the skillet. You may lose some of the caramel if you do not flip quickly and evenly. Serve warm or room temperature with vanilla ice cream.