Cooking

Apple and Pear Upside-Down Caramel Tarts

posted: 06/30/10

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup/200 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml water
  • 4 ounces/113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon/about 1 g ground cinnamon
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1/2 -inch-/1-cm-thick wedges
  • 2 Comice or Anjou pears, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1/2 -inch-/1-cm-thick wedges
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet (half of 17.3-ounce/490-g package), thawed
  • 1/2 cup/100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons/30 ml water
  • 1/2 cup/115 ml whipping cream

PREPARATION:

  1. Stir the sugar and water in a heavy based medium sized saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a simmer, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side. The sugar that clings to the side of the pan has a tendency to crystallize and ruin the silky consistency of the caramel, so wiping the sugar off the sides of the pan will help prevent this from happening.
  2. Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for about 8 minutes or until it begins to turn golden brown. You will need to watch the syrup closely as it can burn quite easily.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter and whisk until the butter melts and the mixture forms a caramel sauce. Stir in the cinnamon. Pour the caramel sauce into four 4-inch-/10-cm-diameter cake pans with at least 1 3/4-inch-/4.5-cm-high sides, dividing equally. Allow the caramel to cool.
  4. Arrange a layer of the apples and pears decoratively over the caramel, then stack the remaining apples and pears to fill the pans completely. Unfold the pastry on a work surface and press the seams together if necessary. Cut out four 4-inch/10-cm rounds.
  5. Place the pastry rounds over the apples and pears and tuck the pastry down between the sides of the pans. Prick the pastry 5 to 6 times with a fork or small sharp knife. Cover the tarts with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day to chill the pastry.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450?F/230?C. Transfer the tarts to a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through and the apples are very tender. Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the juices to cool and thicken slightly.

Meanwhile, to make the caramel sauce:

  1. Stir the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a simmer, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side.
  2. Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for 8 minutes or until it begins to turn golden brown. Add the cream and stir to blend. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly.
  3. Place a plate over each tart. In a swift movement, invert each tart onto each plate. Remove the pans. If the plate is a little messy, you may want to transfer the upside-down tarts to clean plates to serve. Drizzle some of the caramel sauce around the upside tarts and serve. Reserve any remaining caramel sauce in the refrigerator for another use.
More on
Recommended for You