"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Friday, November 7, 2008

Carmelized Upside-Down Pear Tart

Every once in a while, when I get to work I'll encounter something like this:

In the cold room,

In the fridge,

What to do? Make Caramelized Upside-Down Pear Tart, that's what.

This recipe is a spin on the classic apple tart-tatin, and is pretty easy to make. But if you're the type of person who can screw up a recipe no matter what, here's a list of how you can screw up this one. I'm not saying I did these things, but I might have in the past. They say a sign of intelligence is being able to learn from your mistakes.

1. If you have a cheap pan with hot spots, you will burn the sugar in some areas before it can carmelize in others.

2. If you put the heat on too high, you will just burn all of the sugar, period.

3. If you suck at making pie crust, you're in trouble because that's a major component of this recipe.

4. I can almost guarantee you that you won't be able to get the tart out of the pan in one piece, so get used to the idea of a broken tart that isn't presentation perfect.

5. If you have an extremely heavy cast iron skillet and you're working alone and you've got a nice dessert plate, you must be very, very delicate with your flipping unless you want to shovel the whole thing in the trash. I've never done this personally but I have nightmares about it.

My issues around this tart as I made it were that I didn't make the pie crust and as you might have discerned by now, I'm sort of fussy in that area. This one that Miranda left me was OK but a little tough.

Also, there's not much to it. It's pie crust, and glazed pears. You'll definitely want ice cream or something to add a little juice. And eat it right away--it doesn't hold all that well. I wasn't nuts about it, but I'd be willing to try it again if the circumstances were right.


Georgia said...

Uhm, the tart looks absolutely delicious.

Georgia said...

btw, did you and Miranda win the cook off?

Georgia said...

What's cooking for Nov. 27?

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Hi Georgia!

No, we didn't win...it was a tie and the tie-breakers broke for the other team (damn those cream/butter-using Italians!!) But it was fun. I'll try to find the clip.

T-day...well, at Seameadow the only thing I'm contributing is an apple pie )from shhh...the King Arthur cookbook) and at our house I'm trying the Pumpkin Gingersnap Chiffon (that's not quite the name, but it's on a page with other yummy seasonal pies. It was a tie between that and the Cranberry Trifle. Frankly, I'd rather eat cranberries any day, but the prep for that one is like 15 hours compared to 4, so we have a winner with Pumpkin Chiffon!

How about you? It was great to see Robby today!!