Erin McDowell

What do you get when you combine butter, brown sugar, pears and pie dough? The easiest, tastiest dessert of the season, naturally. Make this darling, not-too-sickeningly-sweet tartlet recipe by placing small pears into small ramekins, topping them with store-bought dough and throwing them into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. In other words, it’s as easy as, well, you get it.

Caramelized Pear Tartlets

A PureWow Original Recipe

  • Makes 6 tartlets
  • Start to Finish: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

3 Seckel pears (or Forelles)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 prepared 9-inch piecrust

6 tablespoons butter, softened

12 tablespoons (¾ cup) light brown sugar

Pinch of cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Place six small ramekins (or similarly sized oven-safe dishes) on a baking sheet.

2. Prepare the pears: Peel the pears and cut them in half. Trim the base and the stem, and remove the core with a small spoon. In a medium bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice and vanilla extract.

3. Prepare the crust: Place a ramekin onto the piecrust and use a small knife to trace around it, creating a circle of crust with the same diameter as the ramekin. Repeat with the remaining piecrust until you have 6 small rounds.

4. Drop 1 tablespoon butter into each ramekin, then use your fingers to spread it evenly around the inner surface of the ramekin. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar into the base of each ramekin.

5. Place 1 prepared pear half, cut side up, into each ramekin. Top with the piecrust rounds and press lightly to seal.

6. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully invert the ramekins onto plates and serve warm.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Remember that caramel and salt are best friends. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the finished tartlets or top them with a dollop of salted-caramel whipped cream.

  • No ramekins? No problem! This dessert can also be made in an eight-inch skillet. Use three large pears (such as Bartlett or D’Anjou) instead of the smaller Seckel variety, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.