- Yield: 6 Servings
For the Crust
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pea-size pieces
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- ¼ cup sugar
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 large egg yolk
For the Filling
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pats
- 12 seckel pears, peeled, cored, and halved
How to Make It
For the Crust
- In a food processor, combine the butter, flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Pulse until it looks like finely grated Parmigiano cheese. Add the egg yolk and 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water, and pulse, pulse, pulse until the mixture comes together into a ball. If it seems a bit dry, add 1 more tablespoon water and pulse a few more times.
- Dump the mixture out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and knead it once or twice, until it comes together in a smooth ball. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to an even circle, 11 to 12 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. For the Filling
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the sugar, 3 tablespoons water, the lemon juice, and cinnamon stick in a 10-inch ovenproof, nonstick sauté pan. Bring to medium heat and stir to combine.
- Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil (BTB), brushing down the sides of the pan occasionally with a pastry brush dipped in water. After 7 to 8 minutes the mixture will begin to turn light brown. Swish the pan around gently to promote even cooking and cook the mixture for 1 to 2 more minutes, or until it turns a deeper amber color. Keep your eye on this and don’t walk away; the sugar can burn quickly if you’re not paying attention.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add 1 tablespoon heavy cream, and whisk to combine. Discard the cinnamon stick.
- Whisk in the butter 2 pats at a time. The mixture will bubble up, but that’s okay, just be very careful not to let it splatter and burn you. When all of the butter has been incorporated, begin to arrange the pears in concentric circles as neatly and prettily as you can remember, you’re going to flip it out.
- Return the pan to the stove and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. To Assemble the Tart
- Remove the pastry from the fridge, carefully drape it over the top of the pears, and tuck the pastry around the edges of the pan. Bake the tart for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and crispy.
- Let the tart cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then place a serving platter upside down on top of the pastry and carefully flip the platter and pan over, letting the tart fall gently out of the pan.
- Place the remaining heavy cream in a medium bowl and, using an electric mixer or a whisk and good old-fashioned elbow grease, whisk the heavy cream to soft peaks. Slice the tart and serve garnished with the whipped cream.