As the weather cools and delicious fruits like apples and pears come into season, it’s finally time to start turning on the oven again. This Apple Pear Tarte Tatin is the perfect fall dessert and will make your entire kitchen smell more amazing than any candle. Tarte Tatin sounds fancy and complicated, but it’s really just a French style upside-down fruit tart. It typically involves three simple steps: cooking fruit (usually apples) in an easy caramel, topping with pie dough, then baking in the oven.
Today we’re switching things up a little and adding pears to the mix. The tarte tatin is so elegant yet rustic and perfect for just about any occasion. The entire thing is pretty simple, but you may face a bit of panic when it’s time to flip the tarte over onto a serving dish. I promise, though, that the exaltation you’ll feel when the tarte slips out is almost as wonderful as the first bite! Follow the step-by-step photos below to learn exactly how to make this scrumptious autumn treat.
In the bowl of a KitchenAid® 7-Cup Food Processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add the cold butter cubes, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with larger chunks of butter remaining. Be sure you don’t over-process, it should only take a few pulses to get a coarse meal texture. Add two tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and pulse until it just comes together. Add more water if the dough won’t hold together when pinched between your fingers.
Shape the pie dough into a disk and cover in plastic wrap. Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t come together perfectly, it’s just going to be rolled out anyways. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour or up to three days.
Remove the chilled dough from refrigerator and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. You may need to let the dough sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to soften slightly. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
It’s time to prep the fruit. Peel and core the pears and apples then cut into quarters lengthwise, as shown in the picture above. As you prep, place the cut fruit into a large bowl and toss with lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning.
Let’s get started on our caramel. In a 10-inch oven-safe skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the sugar over the butter and cook until the sugar is dissolved.
Continue cooking just until the sugar begins to turn a light caramel color, stirring occasionally.
Carefully add the apple and pear quarters into the pan (the mixture will be very hot) and cook the fruit, turning occasionally, until deep amber in color and bubbling, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and use a fork and spatula to turn the fruit rounded side down, core side up. Remember the bottom will become the top! Arrange in a pretty circular pattern.
Carefully drape the pie crust over the hot fruit, being very careful not to touch the scorching caramel with your fingers. Use a fork to tuck the pie crust into the pan then prick all over.
Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust just begins to turn golden. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen.
Now comes the slightly terrifying part! Shake the skillet slightly to further loosen. Place a serving platter or cake stand on top of the skillet. Using oven mitts, grip the platter and the skillet and quickly invert so the pie plate is on the bottom. It’s scary but it just takes commitment and speed. Be careful not to burn yourself! Lift the skillet and your tart should easily detach. If you have a few pieces of fruit or pie dough stuck to the pan, don’t worry. You can easy scrape anything off and place it back on the tarte. Our ultra buttery pie dough may break slightly at the edges, but you should be able to easily piece it back together. An oven-safe nonstick pan makes easier work of flipping the tarte. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.
Apple Pear Tarte Tatin
Makes 8 servings
For the crust
1 1/4 cups (5.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
3 firm bosc pears
3 granny smith apples
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Ice cream, for serving, if desired
For the crust
In the bowl of a KitchenAid® 7-Cup Food Processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with larger chunks of butter remaining. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and pulse until it just comes together without being wet, sticky, or crumbly. If the dough doesn’t hold together when pinched between your fingers, add another tablespoon of water and pulse.
Place the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a disk and chill in the fridge until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. Dough can be well wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper or on a lightly floured work surface. If the dough is too cold and hard, let sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling. Roll out into a 1/8-inch thick 12-inch circle and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the filling
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into quarters lengthwise. As you peel and cut, place the fruit in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from browning.
Place a 10-inch heavy oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and melt, swirling. Sprinkle the sugar in an even layer over the butter. Once the sugar is dissolved, place the apple and pear slices over the butter.
Cook the fruit, turning occasionally, until the juices are deep amber in color and bubbling, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Use a fork and spatula to turn the apples fruit so they are round side down, core side up, and arrange in a circular pattern. Drape the cold pie crust over the hot apples, being very careful not to touch the caramel. Use a fork to tuck the pie crust into the pan and prick with a fork.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the pie crust to separate it from the pan. Shake the skillet slightly to loosen. Place a rimmed serving plate on top of the skillet. Using oven mitts, grip the plate and the skillet and quickly invert so the pie plate is on the bottom. Be very careful not to burn yourself or slip. Lift the skillet and scrape any remaining caramel sauce back onto the tarte. Cut into slices and serve warm with ice cream.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*