This puff pastry pear tart will astound you – it’s so easy to make and such an elegant dessert for a special dinner. This simple technique for creating a picture-frame tart with Grand Central frozen puff pastry can be used with any number of toppings, but pears are a wonderful choice for fall or winter, with or without the optional almond filling. Use any type of pear except Asian, as long as they are firm but ripe. If you choose a smooth skinned pear there is no need to peel the fruit. Russet-skinned varieties like Bosc should be peeled.
Watch this video for step-by-step instructions to create the Puff Pastry base.
Makes one 12-by-16-inch tart, 8-10 servings.
1 package Grand Central U-Bake Classic Puff Pastry
3-4 firm-ripe pears (Anjou is a good variety)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, or allspice
Almond filling (optional, see below)
Prepare puff pastry
Defrost puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for about 1 ½ hours. Unroll sheet, cut a 12-by-16 inch rectangle and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate. Return remaining pastry to freezer for future use.
Halve and core pears. Place flat side on cutting board and use a chef’s knife to cut slices between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. Combine sugars and spices and set aside (if using almond filling, omit spices).
Use a paring knife to trace a smaller rectangle on the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. Be careful not to cut all the way through the dough. The 1-inch border will puff up and be the edge of the tart. Use a fork to dock, or poke small holes in, the center rectangle.
Shingle fruit and top with sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spread optional almond filling (see recipe below) on pastry inside the border.
Shingle pears, laying slices as close together as possible. Alternate directions of the slices, keeping the wide end at the outside of the tart without covering the border. Sprinkle sugar mixture over fruit and chill for 20 minutes or overnight (if chilling overnight, pears will release some of their juices. You can use a pastry brush to brush juices on the pastry border for a pretty, golden effect.).
Bake tart in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and pears are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Optional almond (frangipane) filling: In a food processor or electric mixer, combine 1/3 cup almond paste (not marzipan) with 1 tablespoon sugar. Add 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and beat or process until light and smooth. Spread evenly on prepared pastry dough. Top with pears as directed.
From Grand Central Bakery