Pears, a sweet, soft fruit, are often overlooked during fall in favor of more “typical” fall foods such as apples and pumpkins. I know I’ve definitely done that in the past, but this year I decided to use them to my advantage and make these super flavorful pear tarts that just scream fall.
The base is my favorite pie crust recipe, but it easily doubles as a tart dough thanks to its flakiness and versatility. Plus, it goes really well with these fall-spiced pears.
The house smelled so good while I was sautéeing the pears, too, because I added a whole host of fall spices and some brown sugar. Oh, and the best part? The finished product gets drizzled with my favorite salted caramel sauce to add some more fall flavor.
Pear tarts look super classy but they’re one of the easiest desserts you can make. If you need to impress someone anytime soon, I highly recommend arranging some pears nicely onto one of these tarts and serving it with caramel.
- 1 ⅛ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- ¼ cup ice cold water
- 3 mid sized pears (any variety)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- extra butter for sautéeing
- salted caramel sauce
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and the salt. Work the cold butter into the mixture with either two knives, a pastry blender or your hands; I usually do it by hand, just because it’s faster, but the other two methods lend themselves better to clean hands.
Then, add your water in bit by bit, until the dough comes together.
Divide the dough in two, wrap each half in plastic and chill for at least half an hour.
While your dough is chilling, prepare the pears.
Peel and cut each pear into small wedges, 1 to 2 inches in length and ⅛ of an inch in width. They don’t have to be exactly the same size, because that means you can do a variety of designs later on.
Add the pear wedges to a bowl and toss them with the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and brown sugar.
Heat a pan greased with butter on medium low heat, and add your pears. They can be close together but they shouldn’t overlap, because you want them to cook evenly.
Sautée each round of pears for around a minute, then let them cool on parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Spray your tart pans with cooking spray. I use mini removable bottom tart pans, because it makes it way easier to get the tarts out.
Pull your chilled dough out of the fridge and roll it into 6 even circles ⅛ of an inch thick. Lay each circle into one of your pans, making sure the dough gets into all of the creases and cut off any excess.
Preheat your oven to 400º F.
Chill the dough in the pans for 10 more minutes, then use a fork to poke holes all around the dough. This will stop it from puffing up too much.
Bake the tarts for 15 minutes, and let cool for 30 minutes before filling.
Once the tarts are cool, arrange your pear slices inside them. I did leafy, flowery designs because it finally feels like fall, but this is the creative part, so go wild.
For a finishing touch, drizzle on some of my salted caramel sauce before serving.