Pear Tart Tatin

Pears and caramel.... yummmmmmm.

For Valentine's Day, I made a pear tart tatin for my mom and P. They loved it but I wasn't satisfied with the consistency of the caramel (too runny). I scratched that recipe and rethought the sugar/butter ratio and out came a rich, deep, sticky caramel, tender pears, and a dreamy, flaky crust. I am not exaggerating when I say... I think this is the best thing I've ever made.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 medium pears, peeled and sliced  
  • 1/2 flaky pastry dough recipe (frozen puff pastry would also work well here)

Preheat oven to 400.

Roll out dough into a large circle about 11 inches in diameter. Put back in fridge to keep chilled.

In a 9 inch cast iron skillet, heat sugar and butter over med high heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until caramel thickens and becomes rich amber color. Take off heat and let cool.

Peel and slice pears, then arrange in a circular pattern over the top of the caramel.

Lay pastry dough over top of pears. Trim and tuck under excess dough. Slice a few vents into the dough to let the steam release during baking.

Bake 30-40 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

Let cool for 10 minutes. Then use a knife to make sure that the dough is not stuck to the sides of the pan. Place a plate over the top of the pan. Flip the tart onto the plate. If any pear slices remain in the pan or are misplaced during the flip, just rearrange them while the tart is warm. Serve warm or at room temperature with a generous serving of whipped cream.


  1. that's a gorgeous specimen. really, quite lovely. i'd fancy a slice!



  2. Looks beautiful. I am sure that it was wonderful to eat as well.

    Sharona May

  3. this is made even more perfect with a dollop of creme fraiche with every slice

  4. Yum. I'll have to try the creme fraiche - sounds delicious!

  5. love the super tight close up shot.very enticing !
    thanks for your nice comments.

  6. This looks beautiful and delicious. I love pears!

  7. Wow, how divine. I made some pear and caramel cakes a while back, it's a lovely combination. I'll have to try this soon!

  8. This looks absolutely STUNNING - really, well done!

  9. so beautiful....great photos

  10. Thanks for all the kind words!

  11. Gorgeous tatin. This sounds like caramel-ey goodness!

  12. I've finally made it!

    It's absolutely gorgeous. I'm posting about it tomorrow - lots of links to you, I promise.

  13. I had a few lonely pears leftover from some jam, and so I looked for a recipe and found yours... GORGEOUS! I'm wheat free, so I used this pie crust: and it was AAAAMAZING. Will definitely be repeating this one! xoxo

  14. I am so going to do this!

  15. AnonymousMay 19, 2014

    Most pear tatin recipes require you to cook the sliced pears in the carmalized sugar/butter sauce for about ten minutes, then the place the pastry dough on top ,and then bake in over for about 15 minutes. In your recipe , do the pears cook well enough? Can the pastry over bake?

    1. Hi there, great comment and question. To tell you the truth it has been way too many years since I've made pear tart tatin (I need to make one again soon!) so it's hard for me to speak to the specifics of this recipe. Back in 2010 when I wrote the recipe, everything worked beautifully.
      So sorry not to have a more current update.

  16. AnonymousJune 28, 2015

    Can you use frozen pears?

    1. I'm not sure that frozen pears would work... I'd worry they'd be too mushy. You need the pears to have a slight firmness to hold their shape throughout cooking. Xo


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