So much for the peaches I’ve been hoarding in my crisper. Those babies sadly saw the heave-ho, because while they looked blushed and perfectly ripe on the outside, the inside told a very different story. So much for saving the best for last.
But they made way for another farmer’s market fall favorite. Four F’s in one sentence, that must be a sign. A very good sign.
This phyllo recipe with baked pears and stone fruit has multiple personalities. One day it thinks it’s a dessert, the next it shows off as an appetizer. And watch out Nelly, because it also has the chops for breakfast, lunch or dinner (+ pancetta or bacon perhaps?)
While my sister-in-law Ginni has the very sad condition of not being able to stand the mere mention of baked fruit, let alone eat it, I’ve pick up her slack, and have always been a fan.
Fresh fruit baked on a bed of puffed crust is a favorite dessert for entertaining. Most likely because when I’ve finally gotten to the end of planning my entertaining menu, I’ve lost my mojo and need something simple and fast to pull together.
Honey sweet fruit with blue cheese fits the bill in all the right ways.
Stone fruit like these little plums can sometimes be a challenge to bake with. Getting the bitty pits with their tentacles firmly embedded into the center of those jeweled fruits is a bit of a chore. Making sure the fruits are perfectly ripe will help your efforts tenfold. I usually cut the fruit in half, circling around the pit, then gently twist the halves from one another. If the fruit won’t budge, cut the plums in small quartered slices and the fruit should pull easily away from the pit. You should get 3-4 slices per half of the fruit.
The first time I tested this recipe I used a fresh pack of puff pastry dough. This time around I dug in the fridge so I didn’t have to run to the store and found a pack that I’m not sure how long had been chilling in there. And next time I make it, I’m going for a brand new, fresh pack of puff pastry. This time around while it still tasted great, my puff was far from plump.
I had two stages of ripeness in my pears. The more yellow skinned pears were more ripe, the green skinned were less so. If you use a riper pear you can cut the pears a bit thicker as shown in the photo above. If you use a less ripe, I’d cut them thinner so they cook down and soften easier and in less time.
I layer the pears so that the sliced, bulbed part of the pears are on the outside of the tart, with the thinner necks of the pears overlapping in the middle. Then I stick in the plum slices where they fit and look best.
I love the play of sweet and savory so the addition of blue cheese to these tarts is a natural flavor for me to love. If you’re not a fan, you could add clumps of goat cheese instead or just skip the cheese all together for a purely sweet bite.
Pear and Plum Puff PastryTart with Blue Cheese
- 1 12 X 8-inch rectangle of puff pastry
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2-3 ripe pears cored and cut in 1/8-inch slices
- 6 small plums pits removed and each side cut into quarters
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 2 ounces blue cheese crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Defrost puff pastry on the counter for about 1 hour. Unroll the sheet and cut it into a 12 X 8 inch rectangle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a small paring knife, trace a rectangle 1 inch from the edge of the parchment paper, being careful not to cut all the way through the dough. Use a fork to gently pierce small holes on the interior of the rectangle.
Sprinkle the sugar on the interior of the rectangle. Line up the pears with the wide, bulbed end of the pears on the outside of the tart so the smaller, neck part of the pears overlap in the center and the slices snuggle closely together. Insert plum slices skin side up, randomly, where gaps appear or where it looks visually appealing. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of honey.
Bake tart for 15-20 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is soft.
Remove from the oven and drizzle with the additional 2 tablespoons of honey. Garnish with crumbles of blue cheese and thyme leaves. Serve warm with ice cream or at room temperature.
Adapted from Grand Central Bakery
This dessert can be served cold or warm, your choice. But if you do serve it warm, you better make sure you have a big scoop of ice cream to melt all over it.
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