Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gutsy Cooks Club: Tarte Tatin with Pears & Quilceda Creek

Our second recipe of the week for Gutsy Cooks Club was a Tarte Tatin from Illustrated Kitchen Bible. Baking has never really been our thing. With exception of cookies made with our niece & nephew a few times a year not a lot of baked goods come out of our kitchen.
And to be honest every time it’s our turn to do dessert for Supper Club I am always a bit disappointed, (although my last supper club dessert that we were responsible for was a pumpkin tiramisu and it was divine now remembering back. )
This recipe for upside down apple tart sounded pretty good so we invited our friends J & J to come join us for dessert later knowing they do love baked goods and dessert.
One reason we don’t bake a lot is because of the need for preciseness and exact measuring not my favorite way to cook. And when I saw I’d have to make pastry dough I was a bit concerned. I went on YouTube to find “How to make pastry dough using a food processor?” and got some tips. It was very helpful. I used the recipe's measurements just got the techniques from the video.

I was bit nervous though when I actually beat 2 eggs and then noticed the recipe only called for one and then tried to dump 1 egg out…."oh now this is why I don’t bake” went through my head.

Getting my ingredients in the food processor
So when I turned out the dough from the food processor onto plastic and it still looked like granular clumpy flour I was a bit nervous. But I kneaded it quite a bit in the plastic before putting it in the fridge and I became hopeful; it looked like what I thought pastry dough should look like after all.
The texture had me worried for a while

I was optimistic when I finally got it to this stage

G & I both love pears so we went with the pear adaptation mentioned in the recipe.
 G peeled and sliced the pears as I cooked the butter and sugar in a cast iron skillet. The photo in the recipe looked a little rustic so I figured a cast iron skillet might work fine. I placed the pears in the bottom of the skillet.

G rolled out the pastry dough and we topped the gooey mixture with the dough and into the oven it went.
G decided since J&J were coming over and they happen to be wine appreciators to the caliber worthy of opening a “nicer” bottle of wine that he’d open the 2004 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Red Wine that he’d been sitting on in the basement cellar for a while. He opened and decanted it before we put the tart in the oven.
When J&J arrived we all participated in unveiling the tart and flipping it as the cast iron skillet is too heavy for me to handle on my own when full of this goodness. Thankfully J reminded us of actually putting the plate on top of the tart and then flipping it because we were off to a disastrous start. She actually enjoys baking a lot.
The tart released perfectly from the pan and looked scrumptious.  

The four of us sat down to a great glass of wine and a slice of pear tart topped with some vanilla bean ice cream and were all overjoyed with how wonderful the treat was. The pastry was like a shortbread cookie thanks to the 10 tablespoons of butter. And the pear lusciousness was superb. It really was a TREAT.

I truly am grateful for the YouTube video in helping my pastry dough become  a success. And we all agree pears were the way to go, especially paired with the wine. The Quilceda Creek was lovely. It was incredibly smooth, sitting as long as we did on it might of helped a bit. It itself had hints of caramel and vanilla and just coated your mouth perfectly so it really was a compliment to the pear tart.
We drank our wine, watched a goofy movie and sent J&J home with a few slices of pear tart for the next day.

It was a nice evening with friends enjoying a great little slice of life together. Happy again that the Gutsy Cooks Club provided us with this treat we would have otherwise never made.


  1. So glad you made it ... and see now you are a tart fear went out the window... don't you love YouTube?

    And you can make pie pastry the same way...

    I see, more desserts in the horizon for you guys!

  2. Monica, your prediction may be right!


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