Thursday, November 28, 2013

Last Minute Little Salted Caramel Pear Tarts

      The other day I stumbled upon the recipe for pastry crust that my mom used for her tuna/salmon pie and quiches.  In handwriting across the top it said, "Also good for fruit tarts."  I didn't have my usual stash of frozen already made pie crusts, so I decided to give it a go.  I followed the directions to chill it first and found that it was really easy to work with. I loved the taste of the crust when it was baked.  Yesterday I needed a small little dessert since all the girls would be home for a family dinner. I used some almost over ripe pears and my mom's pastry recipe to make individual tarts and everyone loved them!   Canned pears work just as well as long as the juice is drained from them.  These are especially good warm and served with ice cream.


 Pastry Crust for One Large Tart or 12 Individual Tarts:

1 (8oz.) package cream cheese

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pear Tart Filling:

3 ripe pears

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon of kosher salt for sprinkling


 Cream butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream together.  Cut in the flour and salt.

 Keep mixing until the dough forms into a ball.

Chill for about 30 minutes and then roll out on a floured surface to about a 1/4 inch thickness. 

 Use the bottom of the glass to cut out circles of dough.

 Place a dough circle into each well of a nonstick muffin pan and set aside.

 Peel the pears, core them, and dice into large pieces.

 Place the pear pieces in a bowl and gently combine with the brown sugar, cornstarch, melted butter, and cinnamon.  Don't worry if the pears "crumble" a bit when you combine them.

Spoon the pear mixture into the pastry dough lined muffin tin wells.  Fill to the top of the crust.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges of the crust look golden brown.

Sprinkle each tart with a little bit of kosher or sea salt before serving.  Enjoy!

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