You know what my secret to a great dessert is? The answer, Puff Pastry. Puff pastry is the best thing since sliced bread I mean it. I always keep a box in my freezer. Sweet or savory, you can make so many dishes using puff pastry.
For my Puff Pastry Pear Tarts, you can use apples with maybe some caramel sauce, really just anything that’s in season or that looks good to you.
Steve loves pears so that’s what I’m using here.
Start by taking a box of frozen puff pastry and thaw it overnight in the frig. You want to keep the dough cold.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time for 2 tarts: 20 to 25 minutes
Cook Time for 4 tarts: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields: 4 tarts, 8 servings
Equipment: 4 rimmed baking sheet pans, parchment paper, chef’s knife, large mixing bowl, 1 (1-quart) saucepan, pastry brush
1 box of Puff Pastry, 2 sheets, thawed in refrigerator and cold
4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted
1/4 cup of light brown sugar, substitute dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of chili powder (optional)
1/4 cup of fig jam
2 tablespoons of water
4 tablespoons of Turbinado sugar
The night before transfer the puff pastry to the refrigerator and allow it to defrost or on the counter for about 1 1/2 hours.
Prepare The Puff Pastry:
Start by lining 4 rimmed baking sheets pans with parchment paper. Lay one sheet of the pastry out onto a lightly floured board. The tri-folded pastry sheet, when unfolded, has three equal parts. Cut directly down the center between the creases forming two equal 5″ x 7.5″ rectangles. Refer to the pictures above.
Transfer the pastry sheet to the lined baking sheet. Create a border using a paring knife to score (trace) a small rectangle on the puff pastry, (refer to the picture above) leaving a 1-inch border. Be careful not to cut all the way through the dough. The 1-inch border will puff up and be the edge of the tart. Use a fork to dock, or poke small holes in the center of the rectangle. Transfer the puff pastry to the refrigerator. Repeat this process making 4 puff pastry tart shells.
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Prepare The Pears:
Peel, halve, and core the pears. Set the pear, flat side down, on a cutting board, and use a chef’s knife to cut the 1/8-inch thick slices. Fill a large mixing bowl halfway with water. Slice a lemon in half, squeezing all the juice into the water. Toss the remains of the lemon into the water too. Transfer the sliced pears into the bowl of *acidulated water.
Shingle the pears laying them as close together as possible, make sure they stay inside the border.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 1 stick of butter, chili powder (optional), along with 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, stir to combine.
Take a pastry brush and brush the sugar-butter mixture over all the pears.
Place two of the baking sheet pans with the puff pastry pear tarts in the center rack of the oven, keeping the other two trays of prepared tarts, in the frig ready to follow when the first two come out of the oven. This will ensure they will bake evenly. Now, if you’re lucky enough to have duel ovens you can bake all 4 tarts at the same time. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown and the pears are tender. Once the first two tarts come out of the oven, replace them with the two from the frig.
While the tarts are baking, in a small saucepan, over low heat, melt 1/2 a cup of fig jam with 2 tablespoons of water, stir to combine.
When the tarts come out of the oven brush the fig jam over all the pears and over the edges of the tarts. Finally, sprinkle with Turbinado sugar all over the top.
That’s all there is to it. I’d say that was pretty easy. Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. There you have it, my Puff Pastry Pear Tarts.
*Acidulated water is water where some sort of acid is added, often lemon juice.