Oh Joy

{flavor stories} pretty pear tarts...
8 Nov 2011

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Hello, happy tuesday! Thank you for all your sweet welcome comments on my first Flavor Stories post a couple weeks back, I'm super excited to be here! I thought this week, since fall is fully upon us now, we'd explore just how lovely pears can be... 

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I was amazed when I found that our local market had six different varieties—I didn't realize they'd have so many types of pears! I bought a couple of each and tried them all, but settled on beautiful green Concordes for their vanilla sweetness {pictured in the first photo} and the pretty little Forelles for their rose colored skin and perfect size {pictured below}. Any variety of pear will do, of course, but if you can find either, give them a try as they're both really great.

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You'll need:
a couple handfuls sliced skin-on almonds, toasted {optional}
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
apple sauce {store bought}
1/2 a vanilla pod, scraped
3 small pears {i like forelles}
1 sheet pre-rolled all-butter puff pastry, thawed {store bought}
vanilla ice cream

Anyway, let's get to it. To make six individual tarts, start by toasting the almonds in a preheated 350°F oven for about 8 minutes, then set aside. Turn the oven up to 375°F. On medium high melt the butter and set aside. Measure the apple sauce and flavor with the contents of half the vanilla pod. Wash, half, core and thinly slice the pears. Cut 6-3.5" rounds from the sheet of puff pastry and place on a parchment lined baking tray. Divide the apple sauce between the six, spooning it gingerly into the center of each. Next, arrange half a sliced pear atop the apple sauce. In a dabbing motion brush each tart with the melted butter. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and some bits of the pear are nicely browned. Cool briefly on a wire rack and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.

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For a cinnamon version: substitute the vanilla bean for a pinch of cinnamon and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg and replace the toasted almonds with toasted walnuts.

This recipe can be used for a large tart as well, instead of 6-3.5" tarts, cut just 1-8" round from the puff pastry and substitute Concordes for Forelles.

These make a great snack too! Store them in an airtight container for up to three days.

Nikole

{photos by Michael Graydon, styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}

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