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Pear Tarte Tatin with Red Wine Caramel

December 2, 2012

pear tarte tatinI love the Holidays.  So much so that I tend to go a little crazy and invite say 35 family members over for Thanksgiving and put up a tent in my backyard to host them all.  The truth is I love my family, every single crazy one of them, and I love nothing more than to cook for them so I spend the preceding two months planning color schemes, table decor, the menu and of course the dessert table.  We have our standards like maple pumpkin pie with bourbon whipped cream, decadent pecan pie and dense, creamy cheesecake but I always like to include one new, maybe slightly over-the-top dessert.

simmering red wine and cinnamon sticksmaking caramel

When I first saw this tart on food and wine’s website I passed it over because it sounded too time consuming.  But I couldn’t shake the image of the deep caramel dripping over the pears and after going back to it 3 or 4 times I had to include it in this year’s menu.  It does take a little longer than other desserts but its not difficult to make, it just requires a little extra love and care 🙂

add pears to the caramel in the pancooking down the pearsturn the pears occassionallyuntil the pears are soft

The time is worth it!  Red wine caramel is every bit as good as it sounds and when paired with sweet pears it just becomes amazing.  The original recipe calls for a puff pastry crust but I used an all butter pie crust that’s super flake-y and balances out the richness of the caramelized fruit. Not to mention it’s also beautiful!  The crust drapes over the fruit before going into the oven and creates a ruffled edge when baked.  This is best served warm with a little whipped cream 🙂

pear tarte tatin

One Year Ago: Eggnog French Toast

Pear Tarte Tatin with Red Wine Caramel
Recipe from Food and Wine with slight modifications
Yields 6-8 servings


Pie Crust

2 cups dry red wine, don’t skimp here, this will be a significant flavor in the dish
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
4 firm, ripe bartlett pears, peeled, cored and halved


1. Make the pie crust, I halved this recipe.  Do steps 1-3 rolling out to a little over a 10 inch circle.  Place the rolled out dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and using a 10 inch cast iron skillet as a template cut out a 10 inch circle.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it flat in the fridge to chill completely.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the wine and cinnamon sticks to a boil over medium high heat and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Discard the cinnamon sticks.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).  In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until a light-amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Carefully add the reduced red wine and butter.  Return to low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve any hardened caramel, about 1 minute. Add the pear halves to the skillet and cook over low heat, turning occasionally, until the pears are tender and the pan juices are syrupy, about 20 minutes. Arrange the pears cut side up in the skillet with the thin ends pointing toward the center and remove from heat.

4. Take the pie crust out of the fridge, unwrap and cut 4 steam vents.  Lay the crust over the pears, carefully and gently tucking the edge into the skillet.  Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown.  Let the tart cool in the skillet for 15 minutes, then very carefully invert the tart onto a large plate or cake platter lined with parchment paper.  Serve warm with whipped cream.

pear tarte tatin

4 Comments leave one →
  1. My French Heaven permalink
    December 2, 2012 1:32 pm

    Wow! Beautifully done! Congratulations!!

  2. December 2, 2012 5:43 pm

    Red wine caramel sounds delicious! I have to try it – perfect for pears too!

  3. December 4, 2012 7:01 am

    How elegant, sounds delicious!

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