Pear Tarte Tatin

A few months ago I bought a bag of pears for easy snacking. Most of the time I much prefer eating fruit raw rather than cooking it, unless it's jam of course. But although these pears were on the smaller side, they were a little too tart and hard to eat on their own. Prior to this I'd never eaten nor baked a tarte tatin and thought these pears were a good candidate. Let me just say it quickly became my favorite dessert! The was quick and simple: cook some butter and sugar together, add sliced pears, top off with a crust, and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes or so. The pears softened and sweetened up nicely as it baked in a buttery, caramel sauce and the edges of the crust became slightly chewy yet also slightly crispy. I ended up eating almost the whole thing myself. This definitely tasted best right out of the oven. I even made it for Christmas dinner, prepping everything before hand and popping it into the oven as we cleaned up the dining table.

Pear Tarte Tatin 1 flaky pastry crust (see below) 1/2 c sugar 3 T butter 3-4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 425° F. Toss sliced pears with lemon juice and set aside. Roll out pastry crust and cut into 9" circle about 1/4" thick.

In an 8" cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and stir until golden and caramelized, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain and discard any excess liquid from pears and arrange inside skillet in a circle (I used tongs for this). Carefully lift pastry crust and drape over pears, tucking edges in. Cut a few steam holes in crust, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen up. Place plate over skillet and quickly but carefully flip over. Serve with tea and/or ice cream!

Crust: These are really quick directions for a crust so feel free to use your favorite pie crust recipe or even store bought puff pastry if you like. 1 c AP flour 1 t salt 6 T butter, cold and cut into small pieces

Combine ingredients in a medium sized bowl and rub butter into the flour using your fingertips, until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1 T cold water (and up to 3 T) and gently knead until dough starts to form. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.