This recipe is a beauty that you will not want to pass by; it will lead you to create the perfect chilly day dessert for your family and friends. The history of the Tarte Tatin is as unique as the recipe!
It all began when two French sisters created this tarte in 1888 (Carolina and Stephine Tatin). They lived in a small rural town in the Loire Valley of France and owned and ran the hotel called l’Hotel Tatin. The elder sister, Stephine’s specialty was an apple tart, served perfectly crusty, caramelized and which melted in the mouth. One day during the midday scramble, Stephanie placed her tart in the oven the wrong way round. The pastry and apples were upside-down but, nevertheless, she served this strange dessert without giving it time to cool.
The dessert was such a hit, the famed Maxim’s Restaurant of Paris, France snuck a spy in to steal the recipe from the ladies…it’s been on their menu ever since.
We are using pears in the recipe to switch it up a little!
Serves 8 lucky dinner guests
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed)
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 pears (firm) peel and core, then halved
1. Preheat oven to 375° F
2. Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to approximately 1/4-inch thickness, then put in refrigerator.
3. In a medium cast-iron skillet, melt butter (over medium heat). Next, stir in cinnamon, brown sugar, and allspice… cooking and stirring until sugar the dissolves. Then, stir maple syrup into mixture cooking and stirring until mixture begins to bubble. Remove the skillet from heat.
4. Next, place the pear halves (cut side up) into a circle in the middle of the skillet, on top of brown sugar mixture.
5. Put the skillet back onto burner and cook over medium-low heat, basting pears with syrup mixture, until they begin to soften (approximately 5 minutes). Remove the skillet from heat.
6. Take the rolled puff pastry from refrigerator and place the pastry over the pears. Tuck the pastry around the edges of the pears so the brown sugar mixture and pears are sealed inside the pastry.
7. Bake in preheated oven approximately 20 minutes, (until pastry is puffed and golden). Cool for 5 minutes, then place a large plate over skillet and invert to remove tart. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
Instructional Specialist, Author and Adjunct Professor. She is married to an outstanding, brilliant man and the mother of two grown awe-inspiring children, and grammie to three flawless grandchildren.
This story first appeared in the Ardent
for Life Holiday 2021 issue.