Making the effort to caramelise the pears makes a world of difference as it softens them plus creates a syrup which is flavoured with the pear juices. Then you simply pile it onto puff pastry and bake until puffed and golden. Crumble over blue cheese and a scattering of walnuts (which I toss in the oven for the last 5 minutes when baking the tarts). If you are really inclined, serve it with a dollop of thick greek yoghurt on the side. The yoghurt adds an element of freshness to cut through the richness of the tart, but I am really in two minds whether it’s needed or not. I like it equally with and without.
Blue Cheese Caramelized Pears Tart Recipe
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
- 1 sheet store bought frozen puff pastry , thawed (25 cm x 25cm / 10″ x 10″)
- 2 pears
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar , lightly packed
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg , lightly beaten
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (I used gorgonzola)
- 3 tbsp walnuts , roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line baking tray with parchment/baking paper.
- Cut the puff pastry into 4 equal squares (Note 1) and transfer to baking tray.
- Score a 2/3″ / 1.5cm border on each piece. (Note 2)
- Cut each pear into quarters, remove the core and cut each quarter into 3 or 4 slices.
Place the pear, butter, sugar and salt in a small fry pan or saucepan over medium high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pear is softened and the pear juice has mixed in with the butter and sugar to form a syrup.
- Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, brush the border of the pastry with egg wash. (Note 3)
- Pile the pear mixture onto each piece of pastry, staying within the border. Drizzle with some of the syrup.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until deep golden brown. Toss the walnuts onto the baking tray for the last 5 minutes of baking.
- Remove the tarts from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes.
- Top with crumbled blue cheese, scatter with walnuts and drizzle with remaining syrup.
- Serve immediately, with yoghurt on the side, if using.
1. To cut the puff pastry, press down with a large knife and bring it straight back up. Do not drag the knife through the pastry, it will make the puff pastry layers “stick” together so it won’t puff up as much.
2. Use a small knife to score the border. Try to score it as deep as you can – for maximum puff – without cutting through. Don’t worry if you cut through though, it should self bond when baking (I often accidentally cut all the way through!).
3. Try not to get egg wash on the outer cut edge of each piece of pastry as it acts as a binding agent so the pastry will not puff up as much.
4. This is best served immediately. If making ahead, keep the tart separate from the syrup, blue cheese and walnuts. Reheat the tart in the oven, then assemble per the recipe directions.
5. The nutrition is better than I thought! Because a little bit of blue cheese goes a long way.
Serving: 176gCalories: 371kcal (19%)Carbohydrates: 37.2g (12%)Protein: 8.2g (16%)Fat: 22.4g (34%)Saturated Fat: 8.3g (52%)Cholesterol: 69mg (23%)Sodium: 343mg (15%)Potassium: 239mg (7%)Fiber: 3.9g (16%)Sugar: 22.3g (25%)Vitamin A: 400IU (8%)Vitamin C: 6.6mg (8%)Calcium: 120mg (12%)Iron: 1.3mg (7%)