I got this recipe out of a baking cookbook my mother gave me ages ago. Don't tell her, but I never cook anything out of it. Oh it is GORGEOUS. There are pictures of all the food and lots of things sound really delicious, but it calls for a lot of gourmet ingredients that I don't have on hand and never think to buy. Who has ever even heard of Muscovado or superfine sugar anyway? Anyhow I had some fresh pears that I had been canning but had a few leftover that were almost on their way to the compost pile. So I pulled out the book to see what I could find.
And I found these.
And even though they called for Ready Made Pastry Puffs, I decided it was worth the trip to the grocery store just to find them.
Because they looked really good...
I did try to find a recipe to make my own Pastry Puffs, but apparently they take 2 or 3 days to make and I'm not that patient. So I went out and bought them. I found them in the freezer section. I think they were Pepperidge Farm.
As you can see from the pictures there are a few ways you can do them. The picture with the whole half pear is how the recipe called for them to be made. They were good. But they were a little too much fruit in my opinion. And that way (with the rounds) wasted a lot of the pastry puff. I did ball up the leftovers and reroll them out, but they weren't near as flaky when I did that. So the second time around I did them square (wasting NONE of the yummy pastry puffiness!) and used less fruit. I thought these were absolutely divine! Hope you find them as delectable as I (and everyone else who tried them ;) did!
Peach and Pear tarts made with 1/4 of a whole fruit on square pastries.
Pear (or Peach) Tarts
1 sheet Frozen Puff Pastry
1/2 C Butter
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp Cinnamon (depending on your taste)
2 - 6 whole fresh Pears and/or Peaches, depending on how you do the tart...
(*You could probably use canned if you really want to, but I can promise they wouldn't be NEARLY as yummy!)
OK, so to start you'll have to thaw the frozen puff pastries for about 40 minutes, or until they are workable. Then on a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry. Cut out 3-4 inch round circles OR cut in desired size squares (I think I did 16 per pastry sheet). Place the circles on a large baking sheet and prick each several times with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes (or just until you have the fruit prepared is fine!)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cream together the butter, brown sugar and add cinnamon. Set aside.
Prepare the fruit. If using pears peel them with a vegetable peeler. Slice them in half and use a melon baller or cookie scoop to scoop out the seeds. Cut out the rest of the stem with a knife. If you are doing a lot you will want to 1) do this assembly style (i.e. peel 3-4 at a time, then cut them all in half, then take out all the center, etc) AND 2) put them in cold water and/or sprinkle them with "Fruit Fresh" to keep them from browning. (You can find Fruit Fresh in the canning section. Now is the perfect time to get it. It is packaged in what looks like a plastic spice container. The brand I've seen has a lime green lid).
If using peaches you'll want to boil some water in a medium stock pot. Drop the peaches in for about 30 seconds. Place them directly in ice water. The skins should then just slip off. Cut them in half and remove the seed. Again if you are doing a lot, put the in water and/or use the fruit fresh to keep them from browning.
Take out the pastry puffs and spread a little of the the butter-sugar mixture over each.
If you want to use a whole half of the fruit as in the first picture....Slice them fruit halves lengthways - but keeping them intact at the tip. Fan out the slices slightly. (I had a really hard time keeping them in tact, it would take some practice, but mine still looked really good, so it probably doesn't really matter...ha ha!) Place the fruit half on in the center of the pastry puff.
Slice the fruit thinly. Place about 1/4 of the fruit, fanned out on the pastry puff.
Make small flutes around the edge of the pastry circles/squares or simply fold over the corners. You could even fold almost over all of the fruit if you wanted. Place the rest of the butter sugar mixture in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, enough time to melt it. Brush each tart with the melted butter mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is well risen and golden. Serve warm with a little cream, ice cream or by themselves. They are delicious any way you slice it!