Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pear Cardamom Tarte Tatin

Photo by shantilly picnic

This is not the first time I've posted about a baked treat made with the pears and cardamom, and I promise it won't be the last (in fact I have an epic pear cardamom upside down cake to share with you). I'm hooked on this flavor combo. I just love the way the sweet pears and fresh ground cardamom come together in the oven. Not only does cardamom add a wonderful aroma and flavor, in Ayurveda it is considered to be a very useful and effective medicine, detoxifying, improving digestion and blood circulation, treating allergies, sore throat, and weakness in general. 


Staying true to the 'obsessed' theme of this post, another recent obsession of mine is the Tarte Tatin (really, inverted baked goods in general). I've been flipping pears, apples, potatoes, and recently flipped a delicious caramelized onion tarte with star anise and thyme. It's a fun and forgiving process that anyone can master. I also have a soft spot for any recipe with such few ingredients. Many believe that the Tarte Tatin was the result of an accident in the Hotel Tatin kitchen in the late 1800's. The hotel was owned by sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin, although Stéphanie did most of the cooking. Legend has it that she left some apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long and tried to rescue the dish by putting a pastry round on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. Other scholars say that upside-down tartes have long been a specialty of the Sologne region. Could be. The Tatin Sisters never did call their signature dish Tarte Tatin... That recognition was bestowed upon them by Curnonsky (Prince of Gastronomy) after their death. 


Pear Cardamom Tarte Tatin
Makes one 9-inch tarte

6 pears
5 cardamom pods, grind using mortar and pestle
Juice of half a lemon
6 Tbsp butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
Flaky tart dough, ideally made the day before and chilled in the refrigerator

Cut pear lengthwise into whatever shape you'd like them to appear once flipped. Toss pears with the lemon juice, fresh ground cardamom and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Set aside. Melt butter in a 9-inch heavy bottomed skillet (I prefer cast iron for the job) over medium heat and cover with the remaining 1 cup sugar. Whisk over heat until it starts to brown, remove from heat and layer the pears carefully into the pan. Return the pan to the stove and cook in carmel for another 20-25 minutes over medium-high heat. Use a spoon to gentle press down on the pears throughout this cooking time.

Photo by shantilly picnic
Preheat oven to 400. Roll out your flaky tart dough to a 9-inch circle and cut a few vents. Remove the pan from heat and place pastry round over the pears. Trim the dough around pan and tuck it in around the pears. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly brown. Once done, cover the tarte with a serving dish (larger in diameter than the pan) and flip it upside down.

Photo by shantilly picnic
Photo by shantilly picnic

2 comments:

  1. Another day, something new to learn. I had no idea something that looks so delicious has been used as a cure for sore throat.

    sore throat remedies

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  2. The food looks delicious. What I like about this food is that, it can cure sore throat. I think I should also make my own tart out of pear cardamom whenever I get a sore throat.

    Sore Throat Home Remedies

    ReplyDelete