Pear Pomegranate Tarte Tatin

Fresh Cut Pomegranate | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I’m dying to go apple and pear picking. I’ve decided that it is fall and my mind has shifted to the autumnal fruit. Well, there is nowhere to pick yet, so I went to the co-op and bought some seckel pears, from who knows where? I like to bake with seckels because they are very firm, which means you can cook them in the caramel longer and they don’t turn to mush.

It is also the season for one of my favorite treats, the pomegranate. It is one of those foods that is more about the experience than the flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I love the taste, but the fun is picking the seeds out and biting into their tart juices. My boys love them too, because they are a serious mess. I send them out onto the back steps and they eat, with the red juices flying everywhere.

The tartness of the pomegranate is a perfect match for the sweet caramel and the mellow flavor of the seckel pears. I throw in a cinnamon stick and that is that. Here is the recipe:

1/2 stick of butter

3/4 cups sugar

1 cinnamon stick

4-6 seckel pears, depending on the size. Cored and cut in half.

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

I disk of pastry dough (brioche dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, tart dough, pie dough or puff pastry will work well)

Fresh Pears in a Skillet | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a cast iron skillet melt the butter, then sprinkle the sugar over it. Drop the cinnamon stick in the middle then arrange the pears, cut side up in the sugar.

Cooking Pears in Skillet | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Cook on low heat until the pears start to absorb the caramel and the juices are bubbling around them. I like to cook them slowly and for a while so the pears take on as much caramel as possible. My stove is really intense so I have to move the pears around so they are getting cooked evenly. This usually takes about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the pears. If you are using a softer pear it will go much faster. Just keep an eye on them.

Pear Pomegranate Tarte Tatin Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Preheat the oven to 350° (If you are using puff pastry turn the heat up to 375°)*

Once the pears are coloring nicely and the caramel is bubbling turn off the stove and let them cool for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the top and drape a circle of dough over the pears. The dough should be about 1″ beyond the edge of the pears. Some doughs, especially puff pastry, will shrink as it bakes, so you want to make sure you have plenty to cover the pears.

Pear Pomegranate Tarte Tatin Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Place the entire skillet in the oven and

Pear Pomegranate Tarte Tatin Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

bake for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is nice and golden brown.

Pear Pomegranate Tarte Tatin Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Allow the tart to cool int he skillet for about 5 minutes and then invert it onto a serving platter. Make sure the platter is larger than the skillet so that when you flip it all of the hot caramel juices don’t spill out. Needless to say this should be served with something nice and creamy. I served it with unadorned creme fraiche, but vanilla ice cream would be excellent as well.

*Update on my oven fiasco. The warranty ran out two weeks before it blew up! Isn’t that just a kicker. My husband has replaced the heating element, with no success. He then took the entire double wall oven unit out of the wall, no small feat, and tried to check the wiring. That made me VERY nervous. The upshot is that the top unit still doesn’t work! SCREAM! Just in case you are remodeling and looking for an oven, get the extended warranty and think twice about the Frigidaire. I loved it up until this, but this is a major drag.

BTW, do you twitter? If so, let me know and come check out my tweets!

30 thoughts to “Pear Pomegranate Tarte Tatin”

  1. It looks so beautiful Zoe! If I wouldn’t know there were pomegranate I would say they looked like lavander! Big lavander that is :)!
    I bet you’re happy to have an oven again!

  2. I absolutely can’t wait for pomegranates to show up at the grocery store again! And I agree; As tasty as they are, for me, a lot of the fun is in picking the little seeds out, slowly savoring each one.

    Beautiful tart, too! And it would be easy to veganize as well.

  3. You’re so lucky you get to pick apples and pears. I did some fruit picking when I was in upstate NY. It was gorgeous. Stunning photo of the pomegranate

  4. This tart is gorgeous! Ever since the temperature started to dip a few weeks back, I’ve had pears & apples on the brain! I’ve been excited about experimenting with herbs and flowers in my tarts this fall (particularly thyme & lavender). However, I think I’m going to start off the tart-baking season with this recipe. It’s too pretty to delay!

  5. Beautiful as usual. I am waiting for cooler weather to try baking again. Add Kitchenaid Superba 27 to the list of ovens that don’t seem to hold up. I am taking Bret’s French cooking class and will have to settle (!) for his wonderful oven for the time being!

  6. A pear tart tartin is one of my favorite desserts to make this time of year. But I’ve never considered the addition of pomegranate seeds. Sounds delicious!

  7. Mmmm… Tarte Tartins are popping up everywhere! I love them. This recipe looks particularly delicious, with the addition of pomegranate seeds. Was there ever a more lovely, rustic dessert?

    Figures your oven would shoot craps immediately AFTER the warranty expires. Why is that always the case, with cars, appliances, you name it…

  8. Hi Zoe –

    I’ve got to get to the Saint Paul Farmer’s Market soon to pick up a some seckel pears from Maple Leaf Orchards (WI) I’m also going to try a cherry tomato tarte tartin before the tomato season ends. Thanks for your continued inspiration.

  9. I love eating pomegranates, but yes, it’s a messy one alright! What a shame about the oven! Are you looking for a replacement now?

  10. Hi all,

    Yeah the oven is still out. Aaaargh!!! My dearly beloved husband is Mr fixit and trying his hand at it before I call in the $200 per hour repair man. Sigh.

    Bret, I love the cherry tomato idea.

    Thanks for your support! Zoë

  11. Your blog is just BEAUTIFUL! I am so inspired by everything you create here, thank you so much.

    As far as this tarte, I will certainly try it. I have an amazing pomegranate and pear tree that will bear the perfect fruit for this fabulous dish!

  12. Hi White on Rice Couple,

    Where, oh where do you live that you have both a pomegranate and pear tree? I am so jealous. My garden yields rhubarb in the spring and that is about all!

    Thank you for your kind words!


  13. Hi Zoe!

    I made this for our Break the Fast dinner last night (breaking the Yom Kippur fast). Out of all of the beautiful dishes, people COULD NOT stop raving about this tart! Its incredible–I used the tart dough you suggested and the people who “weren’t sure if they had room for dessert” came back for seconds and thirds! Thank you so much, I will be making this for everyone I know.

  14. It’s early Nov ’08 and a recipe has been published for a “pear and pomegranate caramel pie” by Patrick Decker, AP, featured such as below:

    This pie calls for d’anjou or bartlett pears with pomegranate syrup made from condensing juice.

    The shortcoming with the recipe is its call for cinammon and another spice such as nutmeg, allspice, and/or clove.

    We made the recipe as prescribed and found the spices overpowers the subtle flavor of the pear. It was disappointing.

    At this point, we would be skeptical of even using only cinnamon in a retry.

    In turn, the use of cinnamon in this tarte makes us likewise suspicious.

    Enjoy the flavor of the pear and pomegranate ABSENT spice!

  15. Hi Clint,

    Dd that recipe call for ground cinnamon and other spices or were they left whole? Unfortunately I can’t get the link you left to work?

    The flavor of the cinnamon in this recipe is not at all overwhelming to me. Having said that everyone’s tastes are so different so you may want to try it with half a stick and see if that suits you better.

    If the other recipe uses ground spices it will have an entirely different flavor.

    Thanks! Zoë

  16. Hi Zoë!

    I LOVE this idea! I was looking at the Emile Henri tatin set, but will likely use it about once or twice a year. A cast iron skillet, on the other hand, has a hundred uses. What size is yours? My 10″ looks a bit small for pears, but any excuse to add a 12″ monster to my kitchen is a good one!

    I just made Maple Monkey Bread with the ABin5 Brioche Dough, and this is next!

    Thanks again,

    Francesco in Montreal

    1. Hi Francesco,

      So glad you can now justify the 12-inch cast iron skillet, it is a beauty! 😉 Just keep in mind that the 12-inch skillet is a bit of a beast to flip over, so be careful. I think I used a 10-inch in this post!

      Cheers, Zoë

  17. I want to make this deliciouslooking pear tarte in my cast iron skillet using brioche dough which I already have in the frig. Questions:1. How much dough should I take out for a 10 inch skillet? 2. Do I roll our the dough and then let it sit of 60-90 minute sand then place on top of the cooked pears? 3.Or do I roll out the dough and ,place it on top the pears in the skillet and then let it rise? 4. How long do I bake it in the oven?

    1. Hi Sue,

      We have that exact recipe in HBin5. You’ll want to use 1/2 pound of dough and it requires no resting before or after laying it over the caramelized fruit. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.

      Thanks, Zoë

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