Red Wine Poached Pear Tart

Red wine poached pear tart recipe

Some say that the French can be very narrow in their definitions of things, which is why traditional French cuisine can be so simple, yet spectacular; because the classics don’t get messed with. Other cuisines, however, do get modified to local tastes, like les brochettes de bœuf-fromage, or beef skewers with cheese, at les sushis restaurants, popcorn available as salty or sweet (!?), and while sandwiches stuffed with French fries may be a sandwich américain, I can’t say I’ve ever seen one in Amérique.

Red Wine Poached Pear Tart

Americans spend a fair amount of time defending certain dishes, and some things are (or should be) rightly forbidden, like raisins in cole slaw and dried fruit in bagels, and others are debatable, like beans in chili, sugar or honey in cornbread. (But it’s okay to stop with those football-sized croissants.)

Red Wine Poached Pear Tart

So when I was buying pears from the producteurs at the market, I mentioned to the vendor, who was rifling through all the pears as I pointed to each individual fruit that I wanted her to put in the bag, that I was going to make a sort of upside down pear tarte Tatin from them.

Red Wine Poached Pear Tart

She stopped, mid-packing, with a look of complete and utter disbelief on her face, she told me she had never heard of such a thing. Which seemed funny because pears and apples are so close, that it would seem to be a natural, no? I think I threw her a curveball because a tarte Tatin is an apple tart, but I figured that was a rough way to describe what I was making, rather than a tarte renversée aux poires pochées, et au vin rouge de Carcassonne et aux épices, which was kind of a mouthful for 9am.

Red Wine Poached Pear Tart

I’m not sure she was convinced, nor was I all that grammatically correct*, but I was looking forward to turning out a lovely tart with my mid-winter beauties.

Red Wine Poached Pear Tart

The process takes a couple of days. For do-ahead folks, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s highly advisable to poach the pears 1 to 3 days in advance, so they have time to soak up the flavor and color of the wine.

Red Wine Poached Pear Tart

You start with a fruity red wine. Because I share the French propensity for being thrifty, I bought a very inexpensive bottle of wine from Carcassonne, in the south, for poaching. If the wine is going to be simmered, then reduced to a syrup, there’s no need to pop open a bottle of Petrus. So don’t worry that the people at the cash register in the wine store are going to shoot you any attitude.

The fellow at my wine shop, who also expressed some reservations about this nervy American making an upside down tart with pears, of all things, didn’t bat an eye when I handed over my three one-euro coins for the bottle of wine that I pulled off the shelf.

Red Wine Poached Pear Tart

The pears can be flavored with whatever you’d like; a few branches of thyme, or some crushed allspice berries can be swapped out for the cinnamon. And you could use a few wide strips of orange peel in place of the lemon. The French tend not to heavily season things, so the more singular flavors of the ingredients can shine through in the finished dish. (And in case you’re interested, I still prefer my popcorn salted, rather than sugared.) So just keep the poaching liquid to a couple of flavors and not a potpourri of ingredients that will overwhelm the pears. And the resulting red wine syrup is so good, you’ll thank me later for restraining any natural, or unnatural, urges to overdo it.

Red Wine Poached Pear Tart

When I took the deeply red pears that had been poached a few days ahead outdoors to snap a picture for you, due to the shortened days of winter and my kitchen being too dark to get a nice shot to share, a passer-by asked, “Ce sont des fausse poires?” (“Are those fake pears?”)

But there was nothing fake about them, nor was the enjoyment my French friends expressed after polishing off the tart after dinner, scraping their plates clean. (I didn’t make up a fancy, or extended, name for it. I figured it would speak for itself.) It was so popular that I made it again a few days later. I forgot to bring a slice to the vendor at the market, or the guy at the wine shop, who are probably wondering about the crazy American with the odd ideas about baking, and the dicey French grammar. So I guess I’ll have to make it one more time. At least.

Red Wine Poached Pear Tart
6 to 8 servings

Use a pear that is firm when ripe, such as Bosc, Conference, Winter Nellis, or Anjou. As mentioned, I used an inexpensive fruity red wine. Merlot, pinot noir, zinfandel, or another wine will be good here. For those who don’t drink wine, there’s no swap out for it in this dessert I’m afraid.

You can find a few more details about cooking the pears at how to poach pears.

There will be leftover wine syrup after making the tart, which you can use to brush over the tart before serving or drizzled over the tart and ice cream, if you choose to serve it that way. Additional leftover syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks and used to dribble over fresh orange slices with pomegranate seeds, to enliven a fruit salad, or even drizzled over yogurt.

The pears

1 bottle (75cl) fruity red wine
1 cup (250ml) water
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
1/4 cup (80g) honey
3 slices of fresh lemon
1 cinnamon stick
a few turns of black pepper
8 medium-sized pears (about 2 1/2-pounds, 1,25kg)

The dough

  • 3/4 cup (110g) flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

1. In a large, non-reactive pot, heat the red wine, water, sugar, honey, lemon cinnamon, and black pepper.

2. Meanwhile, peel the pears with a vegetable peeler, slice them in half lengthwise, and use a melon baller or teaspoon to scoop out the cores.

3. When the red wine mixture is nearly boiling, slide the pears into the poaching liquid. Cover the pears with a round of parchment paper with a coin-sized hole cut in the center to let the steam escape. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and poach the pears over low heat for about 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through. To test, poke them with a tip of a paring knife; if it goes in easily, they are done. Do not overcook them.

4. Remove the pears from the pot. Discard the lemon and cinnamon stick. Let the syrup cool until tepid, then pour it over the pears. (If you leave the pears in the syrup while it cools, they may get overcooked.) Cover and refrigerate the pears for 1 to 3 days.

5. To make the dough, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the cubed butter and cut in with a pastry blender or a fork, until the pieces are the size of very small peas. (You can also make the dough in a food processor or stand mixer with the paddle attachment.) Add 2 tablespoons ice water and mix the dough until it comes together. If necessary, dribble a bit more water in, just until the dough holds together.

6. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic; refrigerate it for at least an hour. (The dough can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.)

7. To make the tart, pour off the red wine syrup into a wide, non-reactive saucepan and reduce the liquid over medium heat, until you have about 3/4 cup (250ml).. Keep an eye on the syrup during the final stages of the reducing; as it gets close, the liquid with foam a bit, which is a sign it’s done – or nearly there. Overcooking it will give it an undesirable caramel taste.

8. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC.) Pour 1/3 cup (80ml) of the reduced syrup into a 9- to 10-inch (about 22cm) glass pie plate, baking dish, or similar sized pan. Arrange the pears in the baking vessel; don’t be reluctant to crowd them in so they overlap – they will bake down as they cook.

9. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough so it is a bit larger than the diameter of the baking dish. Drape the dough over the pears. Tuck the edges of the dough down between the pears and the inside edges of the baking dish.

10. Bake the tart for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the dough is a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes.

11. Turning out the tart will require a bit of pluck. Keep in mind that there is hot, sticky liquid in the bottom of the tart that may spill out. So wear oven mitts and be careful when turning it out.

The safest way to do it is to put an overturned rimmed baking sheet on top of the tart. Grab both sides of the baking sheet and the baked tart, hold them out away from you (not over you), and flip them over simultaneously and quickly, so the liquid doesn’t get a chance to spill out when you flip them. Slide the tart onto a serving platter. If you are very careful, you can turn it out directly onto a rimmed serving plate, taking the previously noted precautions about the hot syrup that may leak out.

Serving: Brush the tart generously with the reserved red wine syrup. The tart is best warm, but can be served at room temperature or reheated in a moderate oven. Good accompaniments are crème fraîche, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, or vanilla ice cream.

*In case you were wondering, I had a fifteen minute discussion at home under the tutelage of my native Frenchman whether or not this was the correct way to say the name of this tart in French. Each word and punctuation mark got discussed and dissected, then scrutinized for grammar, flow, and – believe it or not, mood – to make it plus jolie, or “more beautiful.”

86 comments

  • This looks very delicious. The preparation takes a couple of days but it’s worth it! I tried this with a few branches of thyme.

  • I’ve never poached pears in wine before, I clearly see that I’m missing out now! And what you say about the French being a little narrow in their definitions of things is so true…I recently suggested a poulet basquaise for dinner, and my boyfriend was scandalized that I’d even consider having this dish 1) for dinner (instead of Sunday lunch) and 2) in winter…

  • When I moved to Italy decades ago, I too was shocked to find pop corn made with sugar and chocolate bars eaten in a sandwich… as for the ‘American sandwich’, funny it is called that as you rightly point out it does not exist in the States AND the fries are actually French!!

  • What a lovely twist of a staple recipe and so elegant! If only this could be done more quickly!

  • This looks lovely. The color the wine lends to the pears is stunning. You definitely need to make this again for the skeptics!

  • Fries on your sandwich are TOTALLY a thing here in the States, though they might not be in the, um, nicer restaurants that you visit. Very popular on food trucks and college bars. It’s the desire to have all of the flavors in one bite; salty, meaty, cheesy, crunchy, etc.

  • Here’s one burger/sandwich devourer who’ll not waste a French fry inside of the bun covered up by other arterial-clogging ingredients.

    That pear tart looks good enough to eat (fabulous, actually).

    If I were to find one here (good luck), it’d probably cost $300. Or it might as well, anyway.

  • it looks so so so so good.

    You just made me hungry….

  • I swear, these photos look like ART! David, are those stems I see in the finished product, in that first photo? No matter, as the process and the result are absolutely beautiful. If only, once again I wish, my computer had smell and taste-o-vision!

  • I got carried away with your story, and the tart looks divine!

  • Great recipe! I absolutely adore wine-poached pears!

  • That tart is a good candidate for our next dinner party.

    Here’s a link to a post about french fry sandwiches in New Jersey:

    http://www.roboppy.net/food/2014/02/fat-sandwiches-ru-hungry-new-brunswick-nj.html

    Disgusting! But personally, I think raisins in coleslaw are fine.

  • Thanks for the great recipe!

    I believe that sandwich is called a “chip butty” over here in the UK.

  • I ran into sugared popcorn more often than salted ones during summers spent in Germany. I prefer the salt. The mere mention of kettle corn and no thank you.

    Sandwiches with french fries are common in poor areas in some African countries. As a mean of sustenance, not a lot more.

  • At Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh, your fries and slaw are on the sandwich.

  • I will be starting this Friday night for Sunday supper.

    Unfortunately, fries on a burger are a thing here in the states – our local baseball stadium is including a Poutine covered one in its annual stadium food contest.
    http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20120220&content_id=26765802&fext=.jsp&sid=t582&vkey=

  • We would eat a chip butty in England but the chips must be fat and freckled from frying until crispy. The vinegar must be as cheap as well, chips- we like Sarsons (or the chip shop Non Brewed Condiment!) and the bread needs to be either plastic white sliced or doorstep white sandwich loaf. Apply butter thickly to said bread slices, sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper and feast. The licking of greasy salt encrusted fingers afterwards just piles on the pleasure.

    Forget the royal family- this is THE great English institution!

  • The fries-on-a-sandwich trend originated in Pittsburgh at Primanti Brothers. You can read the story about is creation here: http://www.primantibros.com/story/.

    They also load on the coleslaw, so you have all of what would normally go on the plate within the sandwich itself. Their sandwich is the perfect food at 2:00am.

  • David, happened upon your blog when I “googled” quince. I live in central California, originally from the midwest, and when I was presented with quince as a gift, I had no idea what to do with them. Tried your Quince Tarte Tatin. My family loved it. Now, you have presented me with yet another wonderful idea for my favorite pear. Having family over again this weekend and, with pears winding down, I wanted to make one last dessert with our favorite fruit. What timing! And, your pastry is simple and wonderful. Love your blog and your adventures. Always look forward to the the next.

    Carmen
    California

  • The tart looks great! I have made a similar tart but with caramelized pears. This one looks much more sophisticated and requires a lot less butter! Do you usually leave the stem and the fibrous inner stem on the pears so they don’t fall apart as easily?

    I remember Pittsburgh also has a famous sandwich with french fries inside. To be honest they don’t add much to the flavor or texture. Maybe if the fries are much thinner and fried to a crisp, they may add a good crunch to a sandwich.

  • Yes, the French can be particular about food. When I was in high school, I did an exchange program in La Rochelle. There was a contingent of Texans in the group and one girl wanted to make her host family a traditional Texas dinner of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, etc. The fried chicken was a hit. But then came dessert–apple pie a la mode. When she started to put the ice cream on the hot pie, the father started screaming. He couldn’t understand why she would let perfectly good ice cream melt all over a pie. So, they ended up just having the pie by itself.

  • As another commenter noted, Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh is famous for putting fries on all sandwiches (and slaw). You have not lived until you’ve had the pastrami sandwich with a fried egg, fries and slaw. YUM!

  • This looks delicious, and I can’t wait to try it.

    In other news, I feel the need to let you know that while I am not a vegetarian or anything like that, I make my chilli with just beans. So there.

  • My two cents on FF in sandwiches comes courtesy of a local food truck serving FALAFELS ! Arkansas is not knowN for its originality and I see from comments that this is, in fact, a trend of sorts. (Facebook link.)

    Looking forward to making PP Tarte this weekend! THANKS DAVID !

  • I love reading the comments section almost as much as I love reading your posts, David. I echo others in agreeing how lovely your photos are; you have a talent in that area too. Have eaten at Primanti Brothers in the ‘Burgh. Is a no frills place for sure, and lines to get in can begin outside. Regarding popcorn and raisins: salt only & no thanks in coleslaw. :) Thanks for the fun!

  • But how could you resist the temptation to add a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream to this!

  • Donna Hay has an easy pear tarte tatin using just 1/4 C of maple syrup.
    It came put fine but the pears were cutin thin slivers. I like your method much better.
    http://www.femail.com.au/donna-hay-magazine-32.htm

  • Two of my favorites in one dessert!!!! Quick question for you David – for this tart were your pears slightly underripe – a bit soft around the stem but still firm? The cut pears look absolutely perfect so I am not surprised that a passerby wondered if they were real!!!!!

  • David, thank you. I love reading your blog. Can you use a tinned steel tart pan for this recipe? This is an absolutely stunning post! Susan

  • Pittsburgh – sandwiches with fries. UK – sandwiches with chips (probably someone already said)…yep. :)

  • Winepoached pears is a genuinely European family dessert for Sunday night dinner served in the prettiest cut glass chrystal dish accompanied by tiny thin cookies homemade of course. No ice cream.
    It is wonderful to see the old bliss transformed into a tarte tatin. But why should one make the dough when a good dough can be had frozen at Picard.
    I would serve it with a mixture of whipped cream and mascarpone cheese.

    Pittsburgh Primanti brothers´ combination of fries and buns and the British chip buffymentioned in the comments are really daunting Mount Everests of carbohydrates.

  • Just another Pittsburgher joining the Primanti’s gang. Fries and slaw on a grilled capicola sandwich on thick sliced Italian bread, doesn’t get better than that.

  • ClaireD and Albert: I always leave the stems on, when possible, because they’re so pretty. If I had one of those pear tools, I would remove the fibers. But in this case, they softened right up and were just fine.

    Nancy: They were just ripe. But if your pears are slightly underripe, that’s usually not a big problem as the poaching tends to amplify the flavors.

    Susan: I use a non-stick tarte Tatin pan that I picked up in Paris a long time ago, made by De Buyer. I don’t know if they are available elsewhere. Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to use anything non-reactive with things that are acidic (like red wine), but I’ve used cast-iron to make this kind of tart and had no problems – which may be because the sugar neutralizes the acid (perhaps?)

    Susan: The only tinned steel tart pans I am familiar with have false bottoms and would not be appropriate for this tart. But perhaps there is another kind of pan you are referring to. If it has a solid bottom it would work, but make sure the material is non-reactive to avoid staining the pan.

  • I recently poached some Glou Morceau pears from my allotment and they took much longer than in your recipe. I’m wondering why this might be. Variety perhaps or how long they’ve been stored? I’ve put the link below.

    http://southbournegardens.com/2013/12/09/chianti-poached-pears/

  • I’d be tempted to add a little pear eau de vie at some point, because I’m always tempted to add pear eau de vie to fruit. Wonder how it would work?

  • You are loved… thank you!

  • I especially loved the *) bit at the end – it’s our daily ‘entertainment’ too (I’m a native Swiss German speaker and Hero Husband is a native French spoken Suisse Romand); we tend to spend much time with dictionaries, etymological books and such….

    I can’t believe I’m reading this – during the morning I cooked large beautiful pears like those you used, in red wine with bits of cinnamon sticks AND 2 or 3 clovers – for a dessert on Friday to come!

    It looks so delicious! Thank you

  • As others have mentioned, the chip butty is the food for when you are really hungry, really cold and really broke. Some chip shops sell you the makings.
    I have even seen the French equivalent – the americaine on sale at road side frite vans, so it must be good!
    Sarsons is the best known brand of malt vinegar – originally a beer by product, but now mostly “non brewed condiment”. I use the vinegar from pickled onions which has a mild spiciness, marvellous!
    Its certainly the season both for pears and Tarte Tatin. I produced a largish one for about 8 hungry folk last weekend, that being about as big as I can flip over now.

    ps. Carcasonne is in the sudwest. Just so historical researchers don’t get confused years from now when studying your oeuvre.

    Ha! Thanks. Someone I know actually wrote to me to tell me it was in the southwest, and without checking, I took their word for it. (Because it’s someone that usually knows a lot more than I!) Thanks for the correction : ) – dl

  • Another shout out for fries on sandwiches at Primanti’s in Pittsburgh! The place started as a stop for mill and steelworkers at the end of their shifts to an “after the bars close” joint for 20-somethings to restaurants in the suburbs for families. Primanti’s is for everyone!

  • The first time I ever had a red-wine poached pear tarte was at Chez Panisse in November of 2001, but the pears were sliced and baked on puff pastry. It was unforgettable! Were you at the restaurant then?

  • The tart looks gorgeous, and utterly delicious! We’ve been having the coldest winter in years here in NY, so this will be the perfect treat to keep us warm.

  • So, you’ve been very inspired David ! As you precise, it’s a hybrid between two French pastry specialties … both from my area, in the center of France (Berry, more precisely). My grandmother prepared also a red wine poached pear Tatin, it was one of her specialties. Your version is just amazing, bravo :) As you say, from apple to pear, there is only one step and as we poach often pears in wine in France, your deduction was good (the vendor should not be able to cook !). Once, in Berry, the variety of pears used was pear ” Priest”, recognized by the scar that crosses his yellow skin. It was a variety to cook (like a quince), inedible raw because too harsh and astringent. Today, nobody consumes that pears, except some people of my region. We still find these century old pear trees in the gardens, roadsides… Every years, I picked them, (if one day you’re interested).

  • Oh yes, I hope you do bring slices to your vendors – it’s such a neighborly thing to do and not to mention so fun to see their faces! I love this kind of love and sharing. My mother is the only other human I know who does this kind of thing regularly – it really freaks people out. Random acts of kindness…why so rare?! You’d think we were all enemies or something.

    Anyway my first thought at seeing this tarte was, what a grown-up dessert. Really elegant.

  • This is such perfect timing! Since it’s only Tuesday, I have plenty of time to buy and poach the pears. Thank you for the great recipe, I’ll be looking forward to Sunday afternoon!

  • Emile Henry makes a wonderful,l ceramic Tarte Tatin pan, complete with serving platter! The whole process, for apple Tarte Tatin, at least, from stovetop to oven in one utensil. Love it!

  • btw I have made a tarte renversee aux poires, which was delicious, but yours sounds even better!

  • This will be the perfect dessert for my soon-to-be-launched Book Club. We read wine labels.

  • Looks amazing. I like the color of the pears after the red wine is added.

  • Pears and apples go together like … well like pears and apples. When it comes to desserts they’re pretty much interchangeable. But you can’t beat pears for a really speccy dessert and this looks like just one of those. I often do pears in red wine but had never thought of soaking them for some time beforehand (don’t know why as it makes a lot of sense).

  • Oh you make me laugh David (in a good way) .. after how many years of living in Paris you still admit to problems with dicey French grammar!
    That’s great and so humble. So agree not to overdo flavors.

  • David, your pear tart tatin looks incredibly beautiful.
    Having just finished eating red d’anjou pears poached in unsweetened pomegranate juice, this just might be the substitute for poaching pears in red wine. Quite a delicious contrast of naturally sweet pears with tart and silky pomegranate glaze.

  • Wow, David, this post punched so many of my nostalgia buttons! The first should be gotten right out of the way: vodka-soaked pears in my college dormitory with my old friend Peter. Now that was an ill-advised culinary adventure. The second, of course, is wine-poached pears, which my mom used to make for Christmas and which I thought were so elegant, as did she. And the third… tarte tatin. This ranks up there as my number one favorite birthday “cake” I have ever had the pleasure to make for myself, which I did the first year I was dating my boyfriend, four years ago. I like to think that tatin was the tipping point into longterm relationship-hood, although knowing him, he hardly remembers it. In any case, it’s sheer genius to cross poached pears with tarte tatin. Thanks for the idea and the trip down memory lane. And by the way, I’ll be in Paris in just over one week and I really cannot wait… I’ll be combing through your archives for the best coffees and pastries, as it’s been six years since my last visit!

  • This looks beautiful, a must-try, thank you David.
    I tried Mary Berry’s tarte tatin recipe recently, and it had a couple of handy quirky tips – you make it in a regular cake tin, just tucking the pastry in around the sides, and when cooked you stick a plate over it and drain out the syrup, which you then reduce in a saucepan and use to glaze the tart – this works very well and has stopped me longing for a specialised tarte tatin dish.

  • Looks divine. I will definitely try this. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Oh. My. Goodness.

    That looks so devine. Just when I am lusting for some summer stone fruits, you give me something to enjoy in the polar vortex!

    But one question: if it is not sacrilege to use canned pears for an almond pear tart, could they be poached (again) with the wine for this?

  • I tried to poach the pears in pomegranate wine.
    You can see here the spectacular color.

    http://img2.tapuz.co.il/forums/1_163274812.jpg

    Bit offended when a guest said they have the color of radishes, although she was right of course.

  • Hi David,
    Actually, the original “po’boy” sandwich in New Orleans was made of half a loaf of French Bread, french fries and beef gravy. It sold for about 5 cents, during the Great Depression, but you can still order one nowadays – for about $3.95!

  • I have followed your blog for many years with great enjoyment, having lived in Paris in the seventies and eighties and and loving both France and French food. Look forward eagerly to your posts every morning. Thank you for creating and carrying on the blog!

    What is the interesting horseshoe-shaped tool with wooden handle you portray in photos 4 and 5? Am most intrigued and would be most obliged for being told as I love (old) tools made of metal and wood along with things French.

    Wishing you many happy and interesting years in France to come!

  • Hi David,

    As a fellow American living in France, currently in Champagne, I love to read about your Paris discoveries, and try to visit some of the places you recommend whenever I get up to Paris.

    As for salty/savory popcorn, I’d like to recommend adding Chinese 5-spice powder to salted popcorn. The sweetly aromatic spices are a wonderful foil, making it complex and interesting, without actual sweetness. (I love the French name for the powder: cinq parfums.) I do not add any sugar, preferring to segregate my desserts from my snacks.

    I’d recommend a demi-sec champagne to “pear” with this dessert.

  • I’m not one for the texture of poached pears on their own or in a cake but when they’re contrasted by a nice crunchy crust.. So. Good.
    Laughing at the football sized croissants having worked in bakeries. We love our huge croissants here in America.

  • Beautiful.

  • I’m not sure there is such a thing as an “undesirable caramel taste.”

  • Never understood people’s aversion to beans in chili.

  • I don’t believe that Americans have the ‘right’ to forbid raisins in coleslaw!! In the UK, it is common to put dried fruit in coleslaw. As far as I can see, coleslaw has its origins in Europe and there are regional variations so no one recipe is either wrong or right. I personally have always eaten coleslaw with raisins or currants included but never onion and I love it.

  • My pears are “marinating” in the fridge, and I’ll make the tarte tomorrow for a dinner party. I can’t wait!!
    The pears weren’t quite as ripe as I would have preferred, so I hope it still turns out ok.

  • What a wonderful looking pear tart! The pears poached in the red wine mixture look so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this recipe. :)

  • I would say that
    “tarte renversée aux poires pochées au vin rouge de Carcassonne et aux épices” would sound slightly “plus joli”
    since et and a a coma are never a good fit, plus this way you show that the pears are poached in the red wine and spices.

    But in my french-canadian opinion this is totally a pear tarte tartin! ;) And I always get grossed out when I pick a handful of popcorn at a party and it tastes sweet, argh…

  • Gorgeous tart.

  • Wowww! this looks gorgeous, and sooo delicious! It doesn’t seem too crazy to make, so hopefully I’ll give it a go soon. :D

  • Update: I made this today for dinner guests, and it was so fabulous!!!
    I might have poured a bit too much of the reserved syrup onto the top after baking, because it ran down and pooled on the plate, which made the crust a bit soggy. Next time, I’ll wait until right before serving to flip it, and then maybe serve the syrup alongside, instead of trying to drown the tart.

  • David – unrelated, but I just read in your newsletter about the explosion at a l’Etoile d’Or. What an awful tragedy. Was Denise hurt? We always made a visit there on our trips to Paris, to stock up on Bernachon bars, but also to visit with Denise, a shining star herself. What a loss. Even if the shop can be rebuilt, it could never be the same. Please keep us readers posted if there is anything we can do to help Denise.

  • I love a good tart, and those red wine poached pear tarts look absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Is it possible to use a good brand of puff pastry for the dough? Or will it get too soggy once the tart is turned over?

  • A beautiful tart, similar to Richard Olney’s recipe from Simple French Food. It is a little more direct in execution…I will try yours this week! Thank you – your site is always inspiring.

  • Thanks for the recipe – we made it over the weekend it was great !!! Here’s a picture :
    #peartart

  • This tart looks absolutely divine – I wanted to make it, but having never poached pears before, I thought I’d give that a go first. I went to look for the varieties of pears you named on your older post, but all the pears at my local market (in the UK) were unlabelled. I picked the ones which resembled the ones in your photos and they worked fine! The only thing was – none of the pears had seeds or cores?! How odd is that. Thanks for the recipe!

  • I can now make this – I have a stove! Hooray! As for french fries in a sandwich, there’s a famous and beloved sandwich shop in Pittsburgh, PA called Primanti Brothers where they put not only French fries, but also slaw in your sandwich. I ate quite a bit of them while in college, back when I could eat everything and not gain an ounce. :)

  • Wow, those pears look phenomenal and a great way to end a winter dinner. Putting fries in sandwiches, especially burritos, is a big thing here in California!

  • I’m a fairly recent subscriber to your blog (though not your books) and I’m oh, so happy to have discovered it. It’s such a treat to see your name come up in my in-box. As soon as I saw the beautiful photo of this tart, I knew that I just had to make it. I finally found some gorgeous looking Boscs which I poached this morning. I hope this isn’t scandalous, but I added a couple of tablespoons of freshly made raspberry syrup I had on hand to the poaching liquid which highligted the berry notes already in the wine. You weren’t kidding about how delicious the poaching syrup is. I had to restrain my husband from drinking it all! I can’t wait to finishing making this tart in a couple of days. Thank you for this fabulous recipe. For the record, I have never seen nor heard of a French fry sandwich before.My husband and I both enjoy your blog very much.

  • Hi David. I just made your amazing tart. It is so fun to make and the flavours are to-die-for. But, unfortunately, so much liquid from the pear halves seeped out during baking that it watered down the syrup and totally sogged up my crust from top to bottom. What did I do wrong? I didn’t dry off the pears with a paper towel, is that the answer? It’s incredibly delicious and I would really love to get it right next time. Do you have any other suggestions?

    • Hi Jeanne: Because the pears are poached, they will be moister than fresh pears, and it’s normal for the crust to absorb some of the juices. (Crusts aren’t always meant to be crispy – some of the best tarte Tatins, the crust is virtually melded to the caramelized apples.) I didn’t dry the pears with a paper towel and mine turned out okay, but you might want to try that next time if you’re aiming for a crisper crust.

  • Thanks so much for enlightening me. The tarte tasted amazing (my husband made your classic homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it–the perfect accompaniment). I can’t wait to make it again. But I thought I’d done something wrong, as the entire tarte was swimming in a delicious but quite watery juice. I enjoy a moist crust too, I just thought the crust was supposed to be on the crispier side. I also just assumed the liquid would be a bit more syrupy. I’ve never had nor made an authentic tarte Tatin so I really didn’t know what to expect. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond

  • Hello David,

    I used to hate coffee until I went to Italy. A friend made some with a Bialetti machine and the coffee was very aromatic and not bitter at all. Haven’t tasted anythng similar ever since. And to be honest coffee making seems much too technical for me.

    If you want to buy some oregano, you can find some here along with a ton of other herbs. I bought four last year and they fared very well (until a neighbour dropped a lit cigarette butt and burnt it all).

    Just curious, do you know what happened to Denise Acabo? I passed by her shop the other day and it was closed.

  • David, this pear tart is exquisite!

    I poached the pears a few days ago and made the tart today.

    Served it for dessert an hour ago, absolutely amazing!

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe