You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Luscious fall pears sub for apples in twist on classic Tatin


Pears achieve perfection — slowly. Blossom, bud, then bead that matures into fragrant fruit the moment it’s swiped by a squirrel. In 10 years of tending pear trees, I’ve yet to nab a pear.

Driving me to drink. Poire Williams — presumably invented by William, mad with swiped-pear frustration — is a clear brandy often bottled along with a whole pear. Once I thought of the packaging as pear prison. Now I see it as safe house.

Spring, I slipped the buds down the narrow necks of bottles. Summer, I watched the fruit swell. Fall, I cut down the bottles and topped them off with brandy. Now my pears are beautiful, ripe and unassailable.

Which is to say I’ve still never tasted one.

Pear Tatin

Prep: 50 minutes

Bake: 40 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

This recipe is unassailable. Great for Thanksgiving or any fall celebration.

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

3 lbs. (7 or 8) firm, ripe pears, preferably Bosc or Anjou, peeled, quartered, cored

1/2 cup sugar

Pie pastry (recipe follows)

Whipped cream or creme fraiche (or both whipped together)

1. Caramelize: Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Stir in the pears and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Increase the heat a little, and cook until the pears and sugar turn a deep, caramel brown, about 15 minutes. (Resist the temptation to quit early.) Shake the pan occasionally, making sure pears and sugar do not burn.

2. Fill: Pile the pears into a 10-inch Pyrex pie plate.

3. Cover: Roll out the pastry and trim to a 12-inch circle. Cover the pears with the pastry, tucking it around the edges and down into the dish.

4. Bake: Slide tart onto the center rack of a 425-degree oven. Bake until the pears bubble and the pastry turns a deep, golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

5. Flip: Pull tart out of the oven and set a flat serving platter top-side down on top of the pie plate. Pull on mitts. Holding plate and platter together, invert the pair. Rap the pie plate with a wooden spoon to release any stubborn pears. Lift pie plate, leaving tart sitting pretty.

6. Serve: Enjoy warm or at room temperature, with the cream.

Pie pastry: Measure into the food processor 1 cup flour, 7 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut up) and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Process to coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. Measure in 3 tablespoons ice-cold water. Pulse about 6 times until clumps are damp. Pat pastry into a disk. If sticky, dust with a little additional flour. Wrap in waxed paper, and chill at least 1 hour.

Provenance: Adapted (precious little) from Patricia Wells’ indispensable “Bistro Cooking.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

Drink hot toddies and spiked cocoa at these 8 Atlanta bars
Alpine Dreams at Yebo Ski Haus pairs hot chocolate with green chartreuse. Photo: Heidi Geldhauser While Atlanta rarely dips below 20 degrees, our damp, gray winter days lingering in the 40s gets in the bones.
The holidays are a great time to preserve family recipes
The holidays are a great time to preserve family recipes
Of all the food stories I have written, the one most meaningful to me is titled “From Poland, With Love.
The holidays are a great time to preserve family recipes
The holidays are a great time to preserve family recipes
Friends American Grill will open a new Gwinnett location very soon
Friends American Grill will open a new Gwinnett location very soon
Marcel to open today after injuries outside restaurant due to railing collapse
Ford Fry’s steakhouse Marcel will resume regular hours today after two men were injured last night due to a railing collapse in front of the restaurant.
More Stories