Our next door neighbour, who has lived in his house for more than fifty years, has two magnificent pear trees in his backyard. Due to our hot, dry summer his bounty this year was incredible. He collected boxes and boxes of Anjou and Bosc pears. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some of them. The question is what do you do when you have more pears than you can possibly eat? The answer is start baking! Right away, I knew I wanted to make some thin, crispy tarts with the leftover puff pastry I had in the freezer. These tarts are really easy to make and even better to eat.
You only need a handful of ingredients: your fruit (pears in my case but they could easily be apples or plums or peaches), some melted butter, sugar, and the puff pastry. I added a little bit of fresh thyme to my tarts which is a bit of an unusual twist but such a nice compliment to the pears. Cinnamon or nutmeg are other spices that would work.
Using an upside down saucer or some other measuring device cut circles out of your puff pastry dough. Prick each tart with a fork to stop them from puffing up too much. Then in a small saucepan melt some butter. You will need about one tablespoon of butter per tart. Finally, peel, core and quarter your pears. Slice the pears thinly and if possible try to keep the sections together. This will make fanning the pears out much easier in the next step.
Arrange the pear slices on the pastry discs. To create the pretty fanned look, keep all the pear slices facing the same direction and allow some of the pieces to overlap. Brush the tarts with the melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and sprigs of thyme. Place the tarts in a very hot oven, around 450F and bake until the pastry is golden and crispy on the bottom - about ten to fifteen minutes.
Tomorrow, I'll be back with an amazing Hello! Neighbour tour. Drop by for a visit, I don't think you'll be disappointed!