Of all the fruits out there I think the pear is the most seductive. Their shape, texture and muted tones are simply stunning. I always get excited when pears make their way to the market. On my way home with a bunch, I think “what shall I make with these lovelies?”
Every year for a few years now I’ve been developing my own recipe for a pear tart.
This year I finally worked out something I’m happy with.
Using a puff pastry dough I bought at Delaurenti in the Pike Place Market, I went to work. After rolling out the dough to a couple of inches larger than I wanted, I cut one inch of all the sides. Then I used a bit of beaten egg as “glue” around the edges to adhere the pieces I just cut off on top so that it would puff up higher around the edges of the tart.
I then heated up some apricot jam and spread a thin layer on the base.
Next came some crumbled almond paste, sprinkling all over the apricot jam.
I decided to use both the pears and some blueberries in the tart…my favorite flavor combo! I also poached the pears a bit.
The pears were sliced lengthwise and laid on the tart slightly overlapping.
Next came the blueberries, sprinkled on top and nestled here and there.
Then it was time to put it in the oven.
It was absolutely delicious!
Carol’s Blueberry-Pear Tart
1 sheet puff pastry, about 1 1/2 lbs. pears (I used Bartletts), about 1/2 pink blueberries, apricot jam, about 3 oz. almond paste, 1 egg, vanilla bean, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons butter, powdered sugar.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In the meantime, peel your pears, slice in half lengthwise, and core them to remove the seeds and tough center. Combine water & sugar in a skillet large enough to hold your pears. Scrape in seeds from the vanilla bean; and add the bean. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add pear halves, cover and simmer, about 6 minutes. Turn pears over; simmer until just tender, about another 5 – 6 minutes longer. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pears to a plate.
Rinse blueberries and remove any stems you may find. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
Roll out the pastry to about 2 inches larger in each direction than you need. Cut of 1 inch on each side – set aside the pieces. Move the pastry sheet to your baking sheet. Slightly beat your egg and paint it onto the edges with a brush. This will be the “glue” to hold the strips you cut earlier. Add the strips around the edges.
Melt the apricot jam a bit in the microwave and use a basting brush to apply it to the pastry. Do not apply to the edge strips. Crumble up the almond paste and sprinkle over the apricot jam layer.
Slice your pears lengthwise and layer the strips over the almond paste layer, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle the blueberries on top. Cut the 2 Tablespoons of butter into smaller pieces and place here and there over the tart.
Bake until crust is puffed and golden, about 40 minutes. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
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