4 peeled ripe Anjou pears, cored and halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon canola oil
5 (14 x 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Coat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons sugar into pan. Arrange 7 pear halves, cut sides up, in a circle in pan; place remaining pear half in center. Cover skillet, and place over medium-low heat. Cook, without stirring, for 15 minutes or until sugar mixture is bubbly and caramelized. Place pan in oven. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes.
Place 1 1/2 teaspoons butter and oil in a bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds or until butter melts. Lay 1 phyllo sheet horizontally on a flat work surface; brush lightly with butter mixture. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar evenly over phyllo. Place next phyllo sheet vertically on top of first. Repeat procedure twice with remaining butter mixture, sugar, and phyllo, ending with phyllo. Fold edges to form a 9-inch circle.
Place phyllo circle in pan over pears, pressing gently. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is browned. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 minutes. Place a plate upside-down on top of pan; invert tart onto plate. Cut tart into 6 wedges. Top each wedge with 1 1/2 teaspoons crème fraîche.
Wine note: Match this tart with Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, 2006, from Domaine Durban ($26). Filled with the unctuous fragrance of pears and sweet citrus, the wine's balanced and bright acidity is a palate-cleansing drop of gold. -Alexander Spacher