pear, apple, pecan tarte tatin

tarte tatin

Tarte tatin. It’s one of those desserts that quickens my heart rate just at the thought of it. Oozy caramel, sweet juicy fruit, a delicate layer of crust that may or may not be sort of smooshed because you didn’t give it enough time to chill because you wanted to eat your lunch and it never pays to rush plus you only had a can of salt for a rolling pin but who can tell because it’s underneath all of that other good stuff.

Two pears, one apple, a generous smattering of cardamom and a heck of a lot of butter contribute to this tarte. One of our health resolutions for this year was choosing to cook with olive oil rather than butter, so I’ve been building up my butter quota in anticipation of something decadent like this.

Our other health resolution was to only eat bacon twice a month, and I’m coping somewhat stoically with that one (and waiting for February for my next fix). Because even though we’ll be eating bacon tomorrow night, it will be stuffed inside of a freshly-caught brook trout, and that therefore does not count in the greater scheme of things. Woods logic, y’all.

tarte tatin

Use whatever kind of pears you want for this. I’m not picky. I’m just thankful that my grocery store has multiple types of pears for me to choose from. Cut your pears into quarters; any smaller, and they will become difficult to handle. Cut the apple into smaller pieces, to nestle in amongst the pears.

I chose to leave those pears face up for the baking stage, with the hope that they would remove themselves without much fuss from the pan. Sure enough, no pear experienced any difficulties in the making of this tarte. But, I dare say the tarte would be equally pretty if the cut sides were baked face-down.

I adapted this from a similar tarte tatin I made two years ago. I recommend that one as well, it was quite delicious.


3/4 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp ice-cold water

2/3 c. pecans
2 pears, in the happy place between firm and soft
1 apple
6 tbsp salted butter
Heaping 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cardamom


Making the Crust

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, sugar, and cardamom. Add small pieces of frozen unsalted butter and pulse until thoroughly mixed. Add in cold water slowly until mixture makes a ball or near-ball in the food processor.

Roll out on a lightly-floured surface until disc of dough is the size necessary to fit into the pan you will cook your apples in. Chill in fridge on a sheet pan.

Note: I didn’t follow my own instructions at all, and my crust fell apart somewhat sadly. Use cold butter, and a food processor, or at least a pastry blender – I had none of these things, hence the mishap.

Making the Tarte

Heat oven to 375 F.

Break pecans into small pieces, and toast in a saute pan until fragrant. Set aside.

Get out your heaviest pan – for me, this is a 10″ cast-iron skillet. This recipe makes a small tarte tatin, so the smaller the pan the better. However, if the pan isn’t heavy enough, the caramel will burn quickly, this I promise you.

Core pears, and cut into quarters. Leave skins on for a rustic approach and no nutritional compromising. Core apple, and cut into eighths. Halve several of these eighths if needed.

Remove crust from fridge, set aside.

Melt the salted butter in the heavy pan of your choosing, then add sugar. Spread butter mixture evenly over the pan’s bottom surface. Arrange the pears and apples as desired, I started by arranging mine face side-down. Sprinkle cardamom over the apples, and top with pecans.

Return to heat, which should now be turned on medium-high, depending on the strength of your stove. For most stoves, high shouldn’t be a problem. Cook for around 10 minutes, or until a medium caramel color appears. Flip each piece of fruit. Cook three to five minutes more.

Take crust and place over fruit, tucking dough around the sides of the pears and apples if possible. Place in preheated oven and cook for around 25 minutes until crust turns a light golden brown.

Remove pan from oven, quickly run a knife or spatula around the edge/bottom of the tarte, and flip onto a serving plate.

Serve warm. I imagine this would go great with a cardamom vanilla whipped cream (1 c. heavy cream, 1 tbsp powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp cardamom), though I haven’t had the pleasure.

tarte tatin

I froze my face off riding on a snowmobile this weekend. It seems unnecessary that certain activities require specific gear, so I’m usually content to make do with what I have, at least until my face falls off. Just like in that top-notch Nic Cage movie.

And then, faceless, I may begrudgingly purchase accessories to help keep me alive. Or put my face back on.

For the first time since I started my job, we spent the weekend at my work cabin. Ice fishing in ridiculously windy conditions, snow sledding in those same windy conditions, and eating like royalty all throughout the day because ridiculous wind makes you mad hungry.

We topped off the weekend with an after-dark snowmobile ride where we found a moose antler. We’d been halfheartedly searching for two days, so our find felt justified. I forgot to mention that our weekend started off with Fast & Furious 6, so our action adventure saga came full-circle. Though neither of us flew through the air from one vehicle to another, we still had an epic couple of days. As Vin Diesel’s sagacious character Dom construed, “Some things you just have to take on faith.”

I have faith in the woods.

snowmobiling north maine woods

Oh, and hey, if you’ve got a few minutes, give it up for this gem, which has been stuck in my head for three days now. 2 Chainz, wut up dawg.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but some things…. you just have to take on faith.


32 thoughts on “pear, apple, pecan tarte tatin

  1. There’s cardamom in there! THE BEST!!

    Also, you’re really starting to remind me of Grizzly Adams. (Which was, by the way, one of my favourite shows as a child.)

    1. Cardamom rules my life. To borrow a quote from Fast & Furious 4, “One thing I’ve learned from Dom is that nothing really matters unless you have a code.” My code is cardamom.

      I love that I remind you of Grizz-dawg. That is flippin awesome!

  2. Your life is so amazing. I always listen for the weather up there and think of you. And look at you, living it up! Rad. Um, I got a 9 inch cast iron skillet a couple of weeks ago and have been dreaming of tarte tatin ever since! It’s happening. Kevin recently compiled a playlist of the History of Rap songs, and out of all of them, he is particularly fond of this one: which is beyond hilarious to me. Keep rocking that sweet scarf, lady!!

    1. There are so many bitchin tunes in the world, especially rap compilations featuring Snoop. I feel like when I’m listening to Snoop, all I do is win. I bet I would love Kevin’s playlist.

      Congrats on the 9″ cast iron – it’s about time! Now for some delicious tarte tatin:)

    2. I gave everyone else a Fast and Furious franchise quote, but not you. So I was thinking, with all this rap music Kevin’s listening to…. You might have to have a talk with him along these lines: “Maybe you’re lying to yourself. Maybe you’re not the good guy pretending to be the bad guy. Maybe you’re the bad guy pretending to be the good guy” (Fast & Furious).

  3. Gee, after watching the clip, my life looks to be moving in v e r y s l o w motion! The tarte. of course, looks delicious. I will have to try it. So, how did you cook the brookie? Yeah, with bacon, I know; but how?

    1. Me too. Sometimes I try to drift on the icy woods roads like in The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, but I’m not nearly as successful, and there aren’t hordes of shirtless men draping themselves in slo-mo against my truck.

      I put up that fish+bacon picture for you to see. Plenty of onions and garlic inside the brook trout, one slab of bacon on each side of the fish, wrapped up in foil and cooked in the oven. Yum!

  4. Emma! I’m a total sucker for tart tatins – there is something just perfect about the buttery, caramely, sticky, doughy deliciousness. But what’s this about your curbed bacon intake?!? I’m so impressed by your willpower;)
    Stay warm my friend,

    1. I know what you mean, Erin, something drowning in buttery caramel is really just the ultimate. To quote The Fast and The Furious, “For those ten seconds or less [when I’m eating my slice of tarte tatin], I’m free.”

      We were consuming tons and tons of bacon. Heaps! I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, but it seemed possible to make a few small changes:)

      I appreciate your thoughts of warmth! xoxo

  5. I know your life is lovely and wonderful and exciting and magical right now, but can you please think of your fellow (wo)man and the good of the human race and open a dessert bar already? Love always, Hannah.

    1. To quote Fast & Furious, I believe I would name my dessert bar “20% angel, 80% devil.” Only cause I can’t find a more applicable quote, though.

      1. I have never seen a single minute of that franchise. Well, unless catching a trailer and bursting out laughing at how much none of it appeals counts.

        1. It makes me laugh too, I think that’s a good thing:) Vin Diesel’s voice is too hilarious not to appreciate!

  6. tarte tatin! I still love that you don’t peel things: a girl after my own heart. I would eat the daylights out of this thing.

    1. After eating the daylights out of this thing, you would proclaim, a la Roman from 2 Fast 2 Furious, “We ain’t hungry no more either, brah.”

    1. Only apple is great too! And pecans, oh pecans. To crib a line from The Fast and the Furious, “Pecans are like…. they’re like gravity. Everything just gets pulled to them. Even you.”

  7. Your blog is such a pleasant discovery! I am a clueless Californian living a parched winter with lavender still trying to bloom in parts of the garden.
    Your snow adventures are fascinating!

    I’ve only had Apple Tarte Tatin and suspect pear would be mighty fine indeed!

    1. I have lavender that is trying to grow indoors! No blooms, though, probably in part because it’s in poor soil that dries out quickly so I keep accidentally killing it back and it has to start over. Glad you find my snow adventures fascinating:)

      I bet down where you are you find yourself uttering the same phrase as Roman in 2 Fast 2 Furious, “Man it’s so hot and humid out here I can’t wear no drawers.” Or not.

  8. I’ve never made a tarte tatin before…and I don’t know what i’ve been waiting for since i know I would love it. Plus, it’s so beautiful! Look at all that caramely nutty goodness!!!

And now I'd like to pass the mic / So you c'mon and do anything you like ...aka, Leave your reply.

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