- 8-10 pears, depending on their size - find firm, good-for-baking Seckel or Bosc pears if possible
- 1 stick butter, divided between five 6-inch skillets
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 2 packages Dufour puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
- Creme fraiche, for serving
Peel, cut in half, and core pears. Cut each fruit into 6-8 wedges, appropriate to their size.
Roll pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut pastry rounds using one of the inverted pans as a guide, allowing 1/8-inch beyond pan edge. Re-roll and freeze any leftover dough for another use.
Lay puff pastry rounds on parchment paper, transfer to a baking sheet, and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 400°. Melt butter over medium heat–do all pans at the same time–and disperse sugar equally between them. Swirl pans to evenly distribute sugar. Fan pear wedges, layering to fit as many as possible, while still keeping them neatly arranged
in the pans. Cook the fruit in the sugar-butter mixture until the sugar becomes a dark amber color. They will bubble vigorously; be careful if you need to nudge the fruit while cooking or while rotating the pans for even cooking. Once the sugar mixture is a dark amber, remove pan from heat.
When all pans are ready, place puff pastry lids atop pans. Use the edge of a silicone spatula to tuck pastry lids snugly inside each pan. Place skillets on a baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes or until the pastry has puffed and become golden. You may want to check halfway through and rotate skillets for even baking.
Remove and cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Place a serving dish on top of skillet and invert pan (in one fell swoop!) to release tart. Some wedges may cling to pan - in that case, use a spatula to free them and carefully place back onto tart...it happens to the best of us.
A dollop of creme fraiche is my favorite way to enjoy these, though whipped cream or ice cream are also great.