Pear Tart with Bourbon Caramel Sauce is the perfect dessert to impress your guests; warm pear halves on top of a crisp and flaky crust, served warm with ice cream and an indulgent Bourbon Caramel Sauce will please all palates.
Happy (early) birthday to me!
Raise your hand if your birthday celebration lasts for not just one day, but an entire week (or more) ????!! I’m definitely in this week-long-birthday-celebration category, because why would you only want to celebrate for a day when you can eat treats all week long?
And by treats for “pre-birthday” celebrations, I mean this Upside-Down Pear Tart with Bourbon Caramel Sauce because yahuuuuum!
There is literally no other way I can think to start my birthday week.
My mom – ahem, have I been posting a lot of family recipes lately, or what? No question where my love of food began! – anyway, my mom started baking this delectable dessert, originally found on Epicurious, around Thanksgiving time many years ago.
I’d beg her to make it whenever I came home, first and foremost because it’s like crack, and also, up until about a year ago I didn’t have a skillet that was oven safe (a must have for this recipe).
Since then, I’ve changed things up a bit and added my own pie crust recipe and a now signature Bourbon Caramel Sauce. Now, I’m not much of a bourbon drinker, so don’t let that scare you if you’re not either. The hint of bourbon in the caramel intensifies the flavor and will send your taste buds on a sweet and little bit savory adventure.
What’s even better about this Pear Tart? It’s so easy to make – all you need to do is melt some butter, add some sugar, add the pears, sprinkle with cinnamon, let it do its thing…
…then cover with a pie crust…
…toss in oven and let it do its thing some more…
…take it out of the oven… and then comes the *little bit* tricky part… you must flip it over on a plate.
I promise you, this sounds much more intimidating that it actually is. You do need some good oven mits so you can easily grasp both the plate and skillet (remember, it’s hot out of the oven). The key is, I repeat, the key is DO NOT HESITATE! Let me tell you — have confidence and FLIP! Do not start turning a little bit and get scared, do not stop mid-way through to answer any questions, do not stop to readjust if you’re already flipping. Just. Do. Not. It won’t work. You have to go all in and just do it. I admit, sometimes my caramel leaks out a bit when I flip it (I think my plate is just a wee-bit too small), but that’s ok.
Once you’ve perfectly flipped by not hesitating and instead just going for it, slice that baby up, scoop out some vanilla ice cream, and drizzle copious amounts of Bourbon Caramel Sauce on top. Serving warm is a must for best results.
I’m off to reheat myself a slice and drench it in this ooey-gooey-caramely sauce while I sing “happy birthday” to myself and indulge in some guilty pleasure TV.
*If it lasts long enough at your house, the Pear Tart does reheat pretty well, the crust just may not be as crisp as when it’s fresh. Still totally worth it.Print
Pear Tart with Bourbon Caramel Sauce – served warm with ice cream, it’s the perfect dessert!
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
- 6 Tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
- 4-6 Tablespoons ice water
- 3 bosc pears, halved and core removed
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
BOURBON CARAMEL SAUCE:
- 1-1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, microwaved for 20-30 seconds
- 1 Tablespoon Bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- If preparing your own pastry dough, give yourself enough time to allow it to chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- To prepare the pastry dough: combine flour and salt. Cut in chilled butter and shortening with two forks or a pastry blender until mixture is a coarse pea sized blend. Add ice water 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing between each addition, until just combined. I generally add 5 Tablespoons. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap to chill.
BOURBON CARAMEL SAUCE:
- Combine sugar and water in a large sauce pan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Swirl pan every 30 seconds – do not stir! – for approximately 15 minutes or until it is a dark amber color. Watch carefully so it does not burn.
- Remove from heat and whisk in cream slowly; it will bubble up so be careful.
- Return to heat, add bourbon. Lower heat and boil for ~ 1 minute.
- Add butter and vanilla while whisking. Remove from heat. Transfer to a heat proof container. If not serving immediately, store in the fridge. Reheat in microwave as needed.
- Halve and core bosc pears. Heat 10-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat on the stove. Add butter and melt. After approximately 1 minute, add sugar and stir with rubber spatula until combined.
- Add cored pears, cut side up with tops pointed in towards the middle of the skillet. Sprinkle pears with cinnamon (I don’t actually measure the cinnamon, just sprinkle liberally). Cook without stirring for 10-15 minutes until a deep golden caramel color has formed with the sugar. Remove from heat.
- Pre-heat oven to 425°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry dough into 10-11 inch circle; trim edges as needed. Place on top of pears in skillet, tucking around the edges. Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is golden brown.
- Invert plate over the skillet; wearing oven mitts, hold the plate and skillet together tightly and flip quickly to transfer pear tart to plate. Let cool slightly and serve warm with ice cream and Bourbon Caramel Sauce.
You can make the pastry dough and caramel sauce in advance – which means the pear tart will be done in no time and ready to serve!
If your Bourbon Caramel Sauce begins to crystalize around the edges, strain through a fine mesh strainer as you transfer into a container.
If you’re in a rush, you can use store bought pastry dough (although, homemade is always better if you have the time!).