Co-op Blog

Local Comice Pears & Recipe

Like last year, we bought local orchardist Gary Moulton’s entire crop of Taylor’s Gold Comice Pears to enjoy this season. With a thick, cinnamon-colored skin, these pears have buttery, sweet, smooth and juicy flesh. Comice pears ripen from the stem, so look for a soft stemmed pear to be at peak ripeness. Unripe pears can be kept in a paper bag on the counter top, then refrigerated for 2-3 days once fully ripe.

Enjoy Comice pears by the slice or celebrate them center-stage along with apples and cranberries in this festive recipe for Pear, Apple & Cranberry Tart Pear Tartfrom Unlike other tarts, the tarte tatin is made upside down in a skillet. Start by cooking the fruit, then top it with the dough, carefully tuck in the edges and let it cook. When it’s ready you invert (flip) the whole tart onto a plate. It comes out looking beautiful and is actually easier than you might imagine. Serve with a scoop of the Co-op’s CONES organic Vanilla ice cream or a slab of sharp white cheddar from our Cheese Department.

Pear, Apple & Cranberry Tarte Tatin Recipe


For the Crust:

  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

For the Filling:

  • 2 ripe but firm pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large apple, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries


To prepare crust: Place flour, oats, granulated sugar, and salt in a food processor; process until the oats are finely ground. Add butter one piece at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until incorporated. Add oil and water and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times until it holds together. Form the dough into a 5-inch disk, wrap in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Preheat oven to 375°F. To prepare filling: Toss pears and apple with lemon juice in a large bowl. Place brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and ginger in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet; cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the butter and sugar are melted and the mixture starts to bubble. Remove from the heat. Starting at the center of the pan, arrange the pear and apple slices in concentric circles, overlapping the slices and adding another layer until all the slices are in the pan. Scatter cranberries on top.

Return the pan to medium-low heat and bring the liquid to a simmer (It might be hard to see the simmering—take a peek under the fruit or listen for the bubbling). Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the sauce becomes a thick, caramel-like glaze, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Roll the dough out between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough over the fruit. Peel off the remaining paper. Quickly tuck the edges of the crust down into the sides of the pan. Prick the top with a fork.

Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the crust is just beginning to brown around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the crust. Place a serving plate larger than the pan on top of it and invert the tart onto the plate (It may take a light shaking to release the tart from the pan). Serve warm.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.