Switching on your oven may be the last thing you want to do when the temps soar, but this delicious tarte tatin is simply worth it. For the uninitiated, a tatin is an upside-down pastry in which the fruity filling is caramelized before it's baked. This variation on the classic French recipe, courtesy of Australian chef Guy Turland, swaps sliced apples for seasonal pears, zingy ginger, and aromatic thyme. "It changed my life," he says. "I love how the fruit juices sink into the caramel." Pro tip: Turn over the tart while it's still fairly hot so that the fruit and caramel don't stick to the pan. Read on for the full how-to, and crank up that A/C.
Pear, Ginger, and Thyme Tarte Tatin
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
5 ripe pears
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 ½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp salted butter, diced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
½ package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
2. Peel and core pears; cut into quarters. Set aside.
3. Stir together sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ginger in a small bowl. Transfer mixture to a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet or tarte tatin pan. Cover over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Cook until sugar begins to caramelize and turns golden brown, 7-10 minutes.
4. Arrange pear slices over sugar mixture, slightly overlapping slices and filling the skillet. Scatter butter pieces and thyme leaves over pears. Cook over medium until pears are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; let stand while preparing pastry.
5. Unroll puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface, and cut out an 11-inch circle using a small knife. Place pastry round over caramelized pears, tucking extra pastry beneath them.
6. Bake in the lower third of the oven until pastry is golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool 10 minutes.
7. Place a large plate or cutting board on top of the skillet, and invert the tart. Garnish with thyme leaves. Serve warm.
For more summer entertaining tips, pick up the August issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.