Thursday, January 08, 2009

puffy pear tart

I can't even take any credit for this tart because it is ridiculous how easy it was. Lately I've been into the magic of frozen puff pastry sheets and I've been looking for excuses to use it. I still sort of feel like it's cheating, like I'm not really cooking when I use them, but I generally get over it quickly when I eat the results. For this, I just used it as the crust for a pretty classic French-style pear tart. It was pretty darn tasty, and I found that you could actually eat this with your hands like a slice of pizza, the puff pastry was quite sturdy. Recipe after the jump:


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
2 small pears, peeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or more depending on the sweetness of the pears)
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tbsp pear brandy
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unfold the puff pastry sheet and lay out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Slice a 1/2-inch strip off of all four sides, then place the strip on top of the edge that it was sliced from to create a wall. Dock the rest of the pastry with a fork. Lay the pear slices artfully on the pastry, within the 1/2-inch wall. Sprinkle evenly with the sugar.

In a small saucepan, heat the apricot preserves and the brandy over a low heat until it loosens and becomes syrupy, stirring to combine well. If your preserves are quite chunky, it is best to strain the syrup, although I am generally too lazy to do so. Using a pastry brush, brush the entire top of the tart - including the pastry walls - with the preserves. Dot the top of the fruit with the butter cubes. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is browned and the pears are softened. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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