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Pear Tarte Tatin | A twist on the classic French dessert

Pear Tarte Tatin

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As autumn approaches, I wait impatiently for pears to appear in the market. I used juicy Bartletts in this French-inspired Pear Tarte Tatin.

Pear Tarte Tatin viewed from above

Pear Tarte Tatin

I grew up with Bartlett pears, and they’re still my favorite to eat out of hand and to use in baking. Pears can generally be swapped out for apples in most recipes, so I was delighted to find a twist on the classic apple tarte tatin recipe. Using high quality, store-bought puff pastry, this recipe only has a handful of ingredients. Plus the results are scrumptious.

What is a Tarte Tatin?

Created in the French hotel, Hôtel Tatin, the tarte tatin is an upside-down tart where apples are caramelized in a skillet with butter and sugar before adding a pastry topping and baking in the oven. To serve, the tarte tatin is flipped over, so the caramelized fruit is on top of the crust.

Slice of Pear Tarte Tatin on a white plate

Autumn Pear Tart

I had a stack of fabulous cookbooks on my kitchen counter, loaned to me from two of my dear neighbors wanting to share their favorites. Leafing through Capital Classics, an out of print Junior League cookbook, I saw a variation on the classic tarte tatin, a pear version. Typically made of apples, I was intrigued.

This a pear tart tatin would be perfect for a cool, crisp autumn evening with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Since I can’t seem to resist anything with caramel involved, this dessert did not disappoint. One of my children plated my serving and he mentioned there was a huge loss of caramel in the process. It was still incredibly delicious. I can’t imagine how wonderful it would be with every drop of sauce. 

Pear Tarte Tatin | A twist on the classic French dessert

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Pear Tarte Tatin | A twist on the classic French dessert

Pear Tarte Tatin

An easy pear dessert adapted from Capital Classics

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Yield 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 large pears, ripe, but firm
  • 1-2 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 sheet frozen puffed pastry, defrosted and rolled into 10 inch circle
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Melt butter in a 9 or 10-inch cast iron pan till melted. Add sugar and stir constantly over medium-high heat till sugar melts and is golden. Remove from heat.
  3. Peel, halve and core pears. Toss with brandy. You can cut your pear halves in thirds if you'd or keep them as they are. Place pears into caramel with flat sides up and narrow ended pointed towards the center of the pan. I cut a little round to fill the center space.
  4. Cut small slits around center of pastry and place over pears, tucking edges under, and molding to the shape of the pears. Bake for 30 minutes or till pastry is browned and pears are tender.
  5. Cool for a couple minutes, then run a knife along edge of pan. Carefully invert onto serving plate. Immediately spoon any caramel left in pan over pears. Serve warm with ice cream.


I use a melon baller to scoop out the core.
Use a good quality, all butter puff pastry brand for the best results. I use Dufour.
My fruit never seems to stay put when I flip this tart. Just rearrange your pears if this happens.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 5gSugar: 38gProtein: 2g


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Pear Tarte Tatin | A twist on the classic French dessert
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11 comments on “Pear Tarte Tatin”

  1. I love the shape of your tarte tatin. It looks like a giant flower.

  2. Thanks so much, Lisa…it’s so nice when a dessert turns out pretty as well as tasty 🙂

  3. Lizzy……Besides looking like a work of art with that shape with the pears, it sure looks delicious. I love pears especially Bartlett when they are ripe.
    As usual Lambeau looks like a sweetie.

  4. Thanks, Erica…if you like Bartlett pears, you’ll adore this!! As you can tell, Lambeau lies in wait of a big spill 😉

  5. Karen, I debated whether to slice them or not, but I like the way that one pear makes one serving. Thanks for your kind words!!!

  6. Oh, gosh, you have another winner, Liz. I do not own a cast iron pan (mortal sin, I know). I tried once to do the seasoning thing and wound up giving the pan to the Thrift Shop.

    Is Capitol Classics the JL of Washington, DC, cookbook? I’ve heard that it’s a terrific cookbook.

    Love seeing Lambeau.

  7. That looks fantastic. I want to remember to come back to this recipe during the holidays Liz. What a beautiful presentation.

    Miss Lambeau is your signature. I love it. Momma’s girl.

  8. Carole, try to find a used pan…my mom gave me some already seasoned ones…so much easier!!! And yes, that’s the cookbook. A friend let me borrow it…it’s excellent!

    diana, so nice to see you popping in! Miss Lambeau knows she might get a dusting of flour or sugar to lick off the floor when she hears me getting out mixing bowls and measuring cups. She’s a smart one 🙂

  9. Tiffany, I was shocked how lovely this turned out…pretty and, even better, one of the best non-chocolate desserts ever! Thanks!!!

  10. This is gorgeous liz … just got some Harry and David pears I know what I will be making now!

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