Poached Pear and Goat Cheese Tart

John and I bought some frozen puff pastry dough this week, thinking we would try to do a dry run of Christmas dinner. But then we kind of lost our umph, and I saw a recipe for this tart one of my favorite blogs. Like a lot of things I try, this didn't seem to go as planned at first. I don't have a tart pan, and I wasn't planning on using the walnut crust that he suggested (though it sounds really good). I was a little nervous that this tart would just be a complete, doughy mess and that we would eat it out of bowls, but it was great!

Poaching the pears in sugar, water, and wine was sort of fun. It reminded me of poaching pears for a salad at the Viking Cooking School class we took with John's mom a couple years ago.

With a little forethought, I probably would have had a side salad with this, with roasted walnuts or something. But this was kind of a "hey, we could make THIS tonight!" decision. The recipe calls for two cups of wine, and that left us each with a glass.

Instead of running all over the pan in a mess, the sauce sat nicely on top the pears. I raised the edges of the puff pastry slightly, and made a little wall out of pairs around the perimeter. It would present nicer in a circular tart pan but I feel like it looked alright, considering.

Good Lord, this was delicious. John commented that you could really taste each individual food - the pears, the buttery pastry, the white wine and goat cheese.
Still, it was actually way too rich for dinner, but you know, we suffered through. I'd recommend cutting the puff pastry and making little individual servings as an appetizer. I feel like it there would be a few different options, depending on your preference. We may try something similar with a mixture of sauteed mushrooms, olives, and more goat cheese as a filling for the other puff pastry sheet (but we may wait until we're with family for the holidays to try that, so that we have people to share it with). As a main course, it was pretty heavy. But it would be great as an hors d'oeuvre or a side.

Poached Pear and Goat Cheese Tart
adapted from Closet Cooking

2 pears (peeled and cut in half and cored)
2 cups sugar
2 cups white wine
1 cup water
4 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 ounces goat cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon thyme (chopped) (I used dried)
1 large egg yolk
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed and unrolled into a rectangle

1. Place the pears in a large sauce pan with cut side down followed by the sugar, wine, water, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered until the pears are fork-tender, about 10-30 minutes (the simmer time varies depending on how ripe the pears are).
2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature in the liquid (of course I got impatient and let them finish cooling on the cutting board).
3. Slice the pears thinly.
4. Mix the goat cheese, sour cream, honey, thyme and egg yolk inf a food processor until smooth.
5. Spread the filling out over the puff pastry and top with the sliced pears, in any arrangement that pleases you.*
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the filling is set, about 20 minutes.**

*This is where I built a little wall of pears around the perimeter of the dough. You could get by without doing this, but it did seem to help keep things in place. **I initially tried 15 minutes, and then added at least 5-6 more minutes to let the crust finish cooking. This time will vary a lot depending on your oven.

1 comment:

  1. I wish you could've seen how big my eyes got when I read the title to this post.

    I love all those words, especially when they work together in harmony to make something that will, essentially, do dirty things in my mouth.

    What's sad, though, is that I won't make this.

    Strike that.

    I cannot make this.

    Not without crying, throwing something and burning myself. And that's just at the grocery store.