Pear & Goat Cheese Tarts
How adorable are these little tarts – tree-shaped puff pastry topped with pears, goat cheese, Salty Sweet Pecans, and drizzled with a balsamic reduction? How is that not good? Pears, goat cheese, & pecans are one of those flavor combinations that just go together. You can put them in and on anything – a salad, crostini, in a panini, and because the flavors just work, it’s practically guaranteed to be a success. Give these tarts a try, they would be a welcome addition at your New Year’s Eve party!
I have to confess that I always find New Year’s Eve to be a bit anticlimactic. I feel like I should do something really amazing, but inevitably, it gets to be about 11:00 and I desperately just want to go to bed. New Year’s Eve is not the holiday for early risers! This year, I’m staying in, wearing cozy pants, watching some movies, and I think it’s going to be glorious. And you can bet we’ll have a batch of these little tarts to snack on.
I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with cookie cutters, so if I’m making something that could possibly be cut out in a fun shape with a cookie cutter, then I absolutely do it. I think that people may secretly make fun of me because of it, but if they were being honest with themselves, I think they’d admit that eating something that is cut out in a fun shape makes them happy too. So bring on the cookie cutters!
You could, of course, use any shape cookie cutter that you wanted. I’ve also made these in the shape of leaves which worked equally well. Or, you could just cut the tarts in squares.
This recipe is kind of a non-recipe, meaning that there is a lot of wiggle room in terms of the exact amounts that you use for all of the ingredients. The recipe posted below is a general guideline of what I used but you can easily modify it. The key is to use pears that are slightly underripe and slice them as thin as you can. I used the #3 setting on my handheld mandolin, which gave me slices about 1/16 of an inch thick. If they are too thick, then they’ll weigh down the pastry and it won’t bake evenly. As long as you keep those two things in mind, these little tarts should work perfectly.
NOTE: If you use a cookie cutter, there is bound to be some scraps. Don’t toss them! Cut them in a few pieces, bake them with the trees, and set them aside to snack on while you get ready for whatever it is you’re doing for the rest of the night. If that means snacking while you wait for your pizza to arrive, wearing sweatpants and fuzzy socks, that’s a fantastic plan!
NUTRITION INFORMATION (per individual tart):
Makes 14-16 Tarts
Calories: 125 Fat: 8.1g Cholesterol: 1.6mg Sodium: 127.5mg
Carbohydrates: 11.6g Sugars: 3.3g Protein: 2g
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
- 2 pears, slightly underripe
- 2 oz. softened goat cheese
- 1/4 cup Salty Sweet Pecans, chopped
- 2-3 T. balsamic syrup
- 1. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.
- 2. Spread softened goat cheese on sheet of puff pastry.
- 3. Thinly slice pears between 1/8 and 1/16 of an inch thick. A mandolin works really well, if you have one.
- 4. Layer slices of pears in 4 rows over top of the goat cheese.
- 5. Cut puff pastry in 16 squares or cut out with a cookie cutter and transfer to a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- 6. Bake tarts at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
- 7. Remove from oven, drizzle with balsamic syrup, and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
- You can find balsamic syrup on the shelf with balsamic vinegar at your local grocery store.