Just a hint of cardamom gives this beautiful pear tart a little depth and mystery. You will need a platter that is slightly larger than the top of the pan on which you’ll invert the tart.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 1/2 - 4 tablespoons cold water
- 5 firm bosc pears
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- For the crust combine the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the shortening and butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the vinegar and water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a rough dough begins to form. Press the dough together and knead 2 or 3 times in the bowl; shape into a 3-inch disk. Wrap with a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
- For the filling Peel and halve the pears lengthwise. Reserve one pear half for the center of the tart, and cut the remaining halves once more lengthwise. Core the pear quarters and the half. Transfer pears to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
- Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water and lemon juice in an Anolon Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick 12-inch Skillet over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and cook swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is lightly golden, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the butter until melted. Cool three minutes.
- Place the single pear half, cut side up, in the center of the skillet. Fan the remaining pear quarters, with the stem side toward the middle of the skillet, around the center pear half. Slightly overlap them to fit all of the pears in.
- Place the skillet over medium-low heat and cook, without stirring, until the liquid in the pan is a deep caramel, about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Roll out the crust on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Place over the pears, tucking the edges of the crust between the pears and the side of the skillet. Bake until the crust browns and the pears and tender, 28-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 2 minutes. Invert a rimmed serving platter that is larger than the skillet over the top of the pan. Carefully and quickly flip the skillet and platter over to allow the tart and hot caramel sauce to fall out onto the platter. Let cool slightly before cutting into wedges to serve.