Servings: Serves 8
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 5 to 6 medium pears (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 piece (3 inches) fresh ginger , grated (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter , cut into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
- 1 cup creme fraiche , for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine lemon juice with 3 cups water. Peel and core pears; cut into 3/4 inch-thick wedges. Place in lemon water.
To make crust: In a food processor fitted with a knife blade, combine flour, butter, sugar, and salt; pulse until coarsely blended. With motor running, slowly add ice water until dough forms into a ball. Turn dough out onto plastic wrap; shape into a disk and wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Divide butter between two 17- or 18-inch nonstick sauté pans; heat over medium until just melted. Drain pears well; divide between pans, and cook, turning occasionally, until brown, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar into each pan; cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Turn off heat; divide ginger between two pans and gently stir until combined. Allow pears to cool completely. Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit about 10 minutes.
In one of the pans, arrange pears in concentric circles; pour remaining juice from other pan over pears. On a floured work surface, roll dough into a circle about 19 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick. Drape dough over rolling pin and transfer to pan, covering pears (dough should hang over edges of pan by 1 inch). Trim edges and press into inside rim of the pan. Bake until crust is flaky and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove from oven; let cool in pan about 10 minutes. Cover with an inverted serving dish (dish should be larger than pan). With one hand firmly on bottom of dish and one on handle of pan, turn tart out onto serving dish. Rearrange any pears that may have fallen out of place. Serve warm or at room temperature with crème fraîche on the side.
Note:The fresh ginger should be peeled unless otherwise noted. To grate fresh ginger, use a microplane grater or a triangular ginger grater, which will catch unwanted ginger fibers in its teeth, leaving behind a juicy, concentrated pulp.