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Nov 17, 2012 10:59 PM

Pear tart tatin--baking pan size change ok?

I want to make this recipe for Thanksgiving and it calls for a 12-inch round pan. If I use a smaller pan would the recipe still work as written or would I have to make some alterations in quantities? This might seem like a dumb question, but I'm not experienced with baking and have never made this dessert before. Thanks.

And one more question while I'm at it. I have another recipe for pear tart tatin that uses brandy and is to be served with brady cream. Unlike this one, it doesn't use cinnamon, mace, or cloves. Just nutmeg. It also uses some brandy and also corn syrup Any idea which one would be better?

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  1. It's possible that the quantities may need to be adjusted, depends on the size of the pan you use. Take a look at these two sites that provide capacities for different size pans:
    Reading the links, I came to the conclusion that the answer to your question is not clear! Especially since you aren't making a cake. I would start by peeling the lesser quantity of pear, that is probably all you'll need for the tart. As for the sugar and butter, you may want to adjust them depending on how many pears you ended up fitting in the pan you're using. The important thing is you don't want the pan juices to overflow (and, for caution's sake, put the tart pan on a cookie or baking sheet to catch any overflow - burnt surgar makes a lot of smoke and is a bear to clean up from the bottom of the oven). For the crust, the easiest thing to do is to make it as outlined in the recipe, roll it to 1/4 inch and cut to size as indicated. You'll just have a bit of extra crust left over - cut into shapes and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before baking for a lovely lagniappe.

    Which recipe would be better? All depends on your taste preferences. I happen to like robustly flavored food, so I'd go with the spiced recipe. And I love the combination of cinnamon and cloves, but some people don't care for it (as for mace, I use it but rarely, so no preference). On the other hand if the pears you are using are exquisite - at the perfect peak of ripeness and tasting like the perfect pear - then perhaps the pears should be the star and not be overshadowed by additional spice.

    Hope this helps.

    1 Reply
    1. re: janniecooks

      Thanks so much for the tips. This is all very helpful to know!

    2. I make Helen Rennie's pear/ginger tartin and it's made with a skillet on top of the stove, then add the crust and bake it. I use a 10 inch skillet. The combination is fabulous and is very easy too.

      Her recipe is online if you are interested, just google it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcel215

        Thank you, will check it out now.

      2. What size pan do you propose to use? Material is important, too. The traditional cast iron pan gets and stays hotter than a thinner cake pan, for example. The spices may well overwhelm the more delicate flavor of pears.

        An easier pear dessert that is scrumptious is Jacques Pepin's Braised Pears in Caramel Sauce.
        Pears, sugar, cream, and alchemy:

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          The recipe I have for the brandied one says to use a frying pan. The other recipe says to use a glass pan. I was thinking of buying a 9 inch cake pan, but I have a stainless steel pan that can go in the oven so would rather use that. Would that work? It's about 10.5 inches.

          I'll check out the recipe you linked, thank you.

        2. Also, does anyone know if I could make the dough a couple days in advance?

          2 Replies
          1. re: bythebay

            Yum! Pear Tarte Tatin - you have me dreaming! Depending on your dough recipe (and assuming a fairly standard pie dough) you should be fine making the dough 2 days ahead of time - just make sure you keep it chilled between mixing and use! Also I recommend wrapping the ball in Saran Wrap to keep the air from getting at it. It's actually a good thing to let the dough rest - some recipes actually recommend that you let it sit awhile (chilled) to let the glutens relax. Also keep it cold right until you roll it out - you'll have a flakier crust. Just don't overwork it and you'll be fine (since a Tatin is served "upside down" the crust can actually be quite messy, which is nice if you are a beginner).

            I find Tarte Tatins (crust and filling) very forgiving - so if you don't find a 10" recipe to your liking, you shouldn't have trouble tweaking - making sure not to "overflow" your pan. Janniecooks' tips are really good - you can try working with fewer pears + adding if needed (they will "shrink" a bit while cooking - though extra caramel sauce can be really nice :)

            Re spicing - I see your dilemma - esp with all the flavours of a Thanksgiving meal, but given the delicacy of the pear, I am voting to keep it simple with the bourbon, though ginger also mingles very well with pear. Best wishes!

            1. re: urbnmns

              Thank you so much for the tips. I think the comments about spice are right on, I am going to go with the brandied one, not the spice recipe. I'm excited to try this out, thank you!

          2. I made the recipe with the brandied pears, used the tips given here, thank you. It came out great.