This rustic French dessert boasts pears cooked in caramel and partnered with crisp puff pastry, and it's baked in a skillet so it goes from kitchen to table with ease.

Everyday Food, March 2009


Recipe Summary

30 mins
1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll puff pastry to an 11 1/2-inch square; using a plate as a guide, cut out an 11-inch round. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  • In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet, combine sugar, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in butter. Arrange pear wedges in a circle along the edge of skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until pears are crisp-tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

  • Drape chilled pastry round over pears, tucking edge under. Place a small oven-safe plate or pot lid on top of pastry; bake 15 minutes. Remove plate; continue to bake until pastry is golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Let tart cool in skillet, 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of skillet, and carefully invert tart onto a serving plate. Serve warm.

Cook's Notes

For ease, use a melon baller or teaspoon to scoop out the pears' cores.


Reviews (6)

173 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 32
  • 4 star values: 36
  • 3 star values: 60
  • 2 star values: 37
  • 1 star values: 8
Rating: 5 stars
I think I first tried this recipe back when I was in high school. Could 20 years have passed so quickly? This pie/tart is so tasty. Especially a la mode. Haven't made it in years, but will prepare it again this Christmas. Like any of Martha's recipes, they come out perfectly if you simply follow instructions. My only tweeks are substituting brown sugar and like any American, I'm very liberal with the sugar measurement. People have begged me for this recipe, and I never tell! Also, use Bartletts.
Rating: 5 stars
This was absolutely delish! I used a 10 Inch skillet, used brown sugar, orange musket champagne vinegar (Trader Joe's) and added a little pumpkin pie spice, fruit cake mix (currants, raisins, lemon peel) and walnuts to the pears. this would be great using apples, peaches or quinces. Quite easy and impressive dessert! I will definitely make it again.
Rating: Unrated
I used a 10 inch cast iron pan that had been retired for years. I am so happy with the results. My dessert was beautifully impressive on the dessert table for A Christmas gathering and a round of compliments came my way. It was delicious and served it with vanilla bean ice cream.
Rating: Unrated
This is one of those recipes that you look for hints if specifics are "open". The pastry in cut in an 11" circle from an 11 and 1/2 " square. Since you tuck the edges under, that leaves a 10" pan, unless you have an 11" pan only. Then I'd cut the circle wider, so the edge can be tucked under in an 11" pan, allowing for more pear wedges, and less waste of crust. A bit more sugar? The butter helps prevent sticking.. I'd try a clad skillet, I gave my cast iron ones to a son and don't miss them.
Rating: Unrated
My guess would be a 10" skillet. The instructions say that you can use a nonstick skillet. You might have problems with everything sticking to a stainless steel one. I don't know if a little baking oil spray would help. If all else fails at least the ingredients are good, it just won't look great when you serve it. And if that happens, cover it up with a good vanilla ice cream. How bad could that be?!!
Rating: Unrated
Could you be more specific - what size is a "meduim" cast iron skillet? 10", 11", 13" . also, since I don't have a cast iron skillet, what modifications to the cooking time do I need to make (if any) Can you do this in a stainless steel frying pan?