Updated Wednesday, August 11th, 2004
Total Time: 35
Yield: 8 servings
A classic French upside-down caramelized apple tart; here, we give it a new twist with the addition of pears, whose honey flavor perfectly complements the tangy apples.
Put flour, salt, and sugar into a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles streusel topping.
With machine running, drizzle 1/4 cup ice water through feed tube until dough just begins to hold together. If still crumbly, add a tablespoon more water.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Press into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Slice apples in half lengthwise and core.
Trim tops off pears to match height of the apples; reserve tips. Halve pears lengthwise and core.
In a 10-inch cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet, heat butter until just melted.
Add sugar and 2 tablespoons water; then cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar turns the color of caramel candy, about 10 minutes (don’t worry if all the butter isn’t fully incorporated). Remove from heat immediately.
Alternately arrange apples and pears in the pan, standing them on their sides and packing as tightly as possible to form concentric circles. Fill center with extra apple pieces or trimmed pear tips.
Return pan to moderate heat and cook until fruit softens, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°.
Using a fork and knife, flip fruits gently so that they’re standing on their opposite edges, all while maintaining original concentric design.
Continue cooking until fruit is tender, about 10 minutes longer. The juices should come about halfway up the pan. If fruit is giving off too much juice, pour excess into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until thick and syrupy, then set aside.
Once fruit is done, remove skillet from heat and let cool 10 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to an 11-inch circle. Carefully transfer dough to pan and drape over apples, tucking edges down and around fruit.
Bake until crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes.
To unmold, run knife along outside of tart, then place serving plate on top of skillet and flip.
Drizzle with any reserved juices. Top with cr
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