Pear Tart

Jim started to bring up small pears from the immature tree in our backyard and I longingly recall the time when Stewart, the young man who grew up next door brought over two lovely boxes of beautiful pears and I made these simple pear tarts. I cannot believe a year had to pass before I write about it. I did a variety of things with Stewart’s pears, but this was the only pear item I made notes and took pictures of.

Pears in pastry require a delicate hand. Instead of the more robust pie pastry, pears beg for the lighter puff pastry and for minimal intervention. There is nothing simple about that. The pears should be firm and slightly under ripe for making tarts. They hold loads of sweetness, but it will be best if overall impression remains fresh and delicate.

I used an entire package of puff pastry and the only difference was in the shaping. The tart and the tartlets tasted much the same. I used up an entire package of commercial puff pastry, but I could just as easily have made it with Hungarian Flaky Pastry.  Well maybe not, but certainly it would have worked the same.  Half of the package makes one large tart or about 7 tartlets.

1/2 pkg [one sheet or 1 block] commercial puff pastry defrosted
3 unpeeled pears, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp melted sweet butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp FruitFresh
icing sugar for dusting

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Cut a sheet of parchment to fit your baking pan or cookie sheet.
  • Lightly flour a clean surface and place half of the puff pastry on the top.
  • If the puff pastry is in a block, divide in two parts and roll one-half into a long rectangle to 4-5 mm thickness. Make sure the short width of the rectangle will accommodate the pear slices and still leave an inch of dough all around.
  • When you roll the dough, avoid stretching the pastry by hand or by rolling it in the same direction, because this will cause the pastry to shrink out of shape. So frequently turn the pastry as you roll it.
  • If the puff pastry is already in a sheet, cut it in half and the same way roll the half into a 4-5 mm thick long rectangle.
  • Lift the pastry and gently transfer it to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Turn over the edges to form ridge on the perimeter.
  • Brush the puff pastry with 1 Tbsp of melted butter.
  • Make the glaze and set aside.  
  • Then core, and thinly slice 3 unpeeled pears.
  • Layer the pear slices on top of the puff pastry.
  • With a pastry brush, generously brush top of the puff pastry with the glaze mixture.
  • Bake the tart for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Slice and dust it with icing sugar.
For making tartlets treat the puff pastry the same way. Arrange the pear slices differently, otherwise brush the tartlets with the same glaze and bake the same way as the large tart. 

Pear Tartlets

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!