Tarte Tatin gets a festive twist by swapping out apples and adding delicious poached pears in mulled wine. This dessert is sweet and has the perfect hint of holiday spice! Enjoy it with a warm glass of mulled wine and enjoy the holiday season!
Which Variety of Pear to Use?
Poached pears are a great recipe on their own, but poaching them in mulled wine takes them to a whole new festive level. I like to use Bosc or Bartlett pears for poaching as they have a mild pear flavour that enhances and becomes sweeter as it cooks. They also have a great texture that holds up much better to a cooking/poaching process compared to other varieties such as d’Anjou or Concorde.
For this recipe, I decided to use Bosc pears since they have a cinnamon note to them, and they have that beautiful shape! Whether using Bosc or Bartlett, make sure that your pears are on the firm (but ripe) side to really help ensure that they don’t fall apart in the mulled wine as they poach. Soft pears will definitely not work as well here, so save those for making pear butter or for adding to smoothies!
Layers of Delicious Texture
Tarte tatin is composed of three main layers: the caramel layer, the poached pears (or other fruit), and puff pastry. The beauty of this recipe is that it is assembled upside down and flipped upright before serving so that the pears and caramel sit on top of a crispy puff pastry base. This layering process allows the caramel to infiltrate the pears, making them sweeter and softer, all while having a crispy puff pastry layer on top.
When you cut through the soft caramel and pears and into the crisp puff pastry, you have the perfect mix of textures to make this dessert so appealing and addictive!
My Homemade Mulled Wine
Making mulled wine is one of my favourite activities to kick off the holiday season. Red wine and a bunch of holiday spices including cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger and star anise are combined and simmered until warm. Adding a bit of sugar, a sliced orange and a splash of Triple Sec (orange-flavoured liqueur) really make the wine more festive and sweet.
The TIME 2018 Merlot was the perfect wine for poaching these pears. With notes of plum, cherry and blueberry, it adds another layer of fruity aroma to the poached pears. Plus, while merlot can have a bit of tannins, these cook off slowly as the mulled wine cooks, leaving you with the delicious flavour of the wine and none of the tangy tannins.
As a bonus, you are able to drink the mulled wine that the pears were poached in afterwards so we are not wasting any wine! The pears add even more flavour to the wine and will pair perfectly with the fresh baked tarte tatin!
I hope that you enjoy this recipe for Mulled Wine Pear Tarte Tatin this holiday season!
Get the Recipe!
Mulled Wine Pear Tarte Tatin
For the Mulled Wine:
- 1 bottle Merlot wine such as TIME Merlot
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise whole
- 4 cardamom pods whole but lightly crushed
- 6 cloves whole
- 1, 1- cm slice of fresh ginger
- 1 navel orange sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons white sugar to taste
- 2 shots Triple Sec or any orange flavoured liqueur
- 4 to 5 firm bosc pears peeled, quartered and core removed
For the Tarte Tatin:
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 sheet puff pastry
For the Mulled Wine:
- Add the merlot and all the other mulled wine ingredients (except the pears) to a medium pot. Heat gently over medium heat until it comes to a gentle simmer.
- Once simmering, remove from the heat and add the quartered pears. Press the pears down into the pot so that they are completely submerged in the mulled wine.
- Let the pears steep in the warm mulled wine for 1 hour. This will gently poach the pears and soften them up slightly.
- After the pears have poached, remove them from the pot and place on a plate to cool completely.
- Remove the orange slices, ginger and spices and reserve the rest of the mulled wine for drinking later.
For the Tarte Tatin:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Next, make the caramel. Add 1 cup of granulated white sugar to a small pan along with the 6 tablespoons of water. Heat the sugar and water over high heat. Do not stir the sugar to prevent crystallization. Let the caramel boil until it turns a light golden brown.
- Once golden brown, remove from the heat and add the butter. Swirl the pan to melt the butter and mix through.
- Pour the caramel into the bottom of a 9-inch round glass baking dish.
- Carefully arrange the pears (curved side down) in a concentric circle in the glass baking dish. Fill in any empty spaces with cut up pieces of pears.
- Roll out the puff pastry slightly and cut it into a 10-inch circle and prick all over with a fork to create holes. Place over the pears, tucking the edges down with a spatula. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown on top.
- Let the tarte tatin cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to allow the caramel to thicken up and cool. See Recipe Notes below if you are left with a watery caramel after cooling.
- Carefully invert the tart onto a rimmed serving plate. Serve warm with a glass of mulled wine and enjoy!
- Depending on the ripeness of the pears, the caramel might remain very loose and liquid even after cooling. If this happens, carefully pour the caramel into a small stock pot before you invert the tarte tatin. Bring to a boil and let the caramel reduce until it thickens to your desired consistency. Invert the tarte tatin onto your serving dish and then top with the reduced caramel.
- If you don’t have a 9-inch glass baking dish, this also will work in a 9-inch cast-iron pan.