Walking into the grocery store I saw some beautiful pears. I think there were about four or five varieties and I thought these look so good, I want to make something with them. So I bought them, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to poach them, bake them or use them in a coffee cake or crisp. Looking in my freezer I saw that I had a sheet of puff pastry left after making a baked brie wrapped in puff pastry appetizer that I had made over the holidays. Well, it was time to use that up so I decided to make a rustic pear tart. Those are much easier, in my opinion, than rolling out pie crust and making a fluted edge. So after letting the puff pastry thaw, I rolled it out a bit, cut off the pointed corners and placed it on a cookie sheet… much simpler. I peeled the pears, sliced them and put them in a bowl to be able to add some sugar, spices and nuts. After putting the mixture in the middle of the pastry I just folded over the four sides of the pastry over the pear mix and baked it. Being that it was puff pastry and not pie dough (although this can be done with pie dough too) it puffed up into crispy layers around the sides. Since I was going to my small group Bible study that night I thought I would bring it to share. I took along some crumbled Gorgonzola (blue) cheese because it goes so well with both walnuts as well as pears. I sprinkled it on each piece for those who wanted it and put it into the microwave for 18 seconds. The cheese melted and the tart was warm, perfect! I know that blue cheese seems to be a love/hate thing and found it interesting that in our group half of us had it with cheese and the other half plain. So, this recipe is not one I have made for years but one I put together because of being inspired by some pears and deciding to use up something in the freezer, and it really turned out well. Now maybe I will buy a box of puff pastry to keep in the freezer just for rustic tarts of apples? (sliced almonds or walnuts?), peaches? (with pecans and some brown sugar), small Italian plums? (no nuts, just a drizzle of a powdered sugar glaze) hmmm…
- 2 large pears peeled and sliced (I used D'Anjou)
- 2 teaspoons flour, plus a bit more for rolling out
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed (1/2 package)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry sheet to about 10" X 12"
- Cut off pointed corners and place sheet onto a greased (or sprayed) cookie sheet
- In a medium bowl toss pears, flour, spices, salt and nuts
- Place mixture in the middle of the pastry
- Fold sides over the filling about 2", overlapping where needed
- Bake until golden about 35-40 minutes.
- Slide onto cooling rack
I hope you are enjoying spring! Now that the weather is warmer, I bought some herb plants for the deck so I can just go out and clip what I need when I need it. I had to buy packaged fresh tarragon for the recipe of chicken breasts in tarragon cream sauce which I will be sharing next week. I love cooking with fresh herbs and can’t wait until mine grow up!