Pear Starlet Tartlets

peartartlet.jpg

Time for dessert!

The holidays are upon us, and I find myself in the kitchen more and more.  I love to cook and to bake this time of year. Today we had snow flurries in Pittsburgh for the first time, and while that brings mixed reactions from those around me, everyone seems to love the idea of a warm fruity dessert straight from the oven.

I have been making and decorating cookies a lot lately, and I plan to keep it up through the holidays, but today I wanted to bake something different.  These pear almond tartlets may not look as pretty as some of my cookies, but I promise you they taste just as good... I actually think better!

pearalmondtart.jpg

These tarts are simple and don't require any fancy kitchen gadgets.  I used a star cookie cutter for a fun shape, but you can use anything, even the top of a glass to cut out some basic circles. 

A little advice- make sure to defrost your puff pastry for an hour or two before starting the rest of the recipe.  I forgot this time, and as always, found a way to make it harder on myself than it needed to be!

Ingredients:

* 1 egg, lightly beaten

*1/2 cup + 5tbsp sugar, divided

*3/4 cup whipping cream

*2tbsp butter, melted

*1/2 tsp almond extract

*1 package puff pastry, thawed

*4 pears

*1 tsp cinnamon

*1/2 tsp ginger

*1/2 cup toasted almonds- optional

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  If you would like toasted almonds on your tarts, place on a baking sheet and toast for a few minutes before making the tartlets.

In a small saucepan combine melted butter, cream, egg, and 1/2 cup sugar.  Cook and stir on low for about ten minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Remove from heat, and stir in almond extract. Cover and let cool, then refrigerate. 

Peel and slice pears.  Combine cinnamon, ginger and remaining sugar in a bowl. Mix the pears in with the cinnamon sugar mixture, making sure all pear slices are covered. 

Roll out puff pastry and cut into shapes or circles.  Place on ungreased baking sheet. Add pears to the tartlets.  If you have extra cinnamon sugar, sprinkle some over the tops. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted almonds if desired.  Drizzle the almond sauce over tartlets and serve warm.

 

starlettartlet.jpg

I am a work in progress with my foodie photography, and after making these tartlets I have crazy respect for food bloggers.  I have no idea how they mange to cook and take photos without completely ruining their meal.  Hopefully overtime I can figure it out and get some step by step tutorials.  For now, you are going to have to deal with some so-so finished dessert pictures!

pearalmondtartlets.jpg

Enjoy!