Tag Archives: tarts

Salted Caramel Pear Tarts

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Salted Caramel Pear Tarts
Have you ever walked into a European style bakery and felt absolutely in awe of the craftsmanship, skill and creativity? I know I am always amazed at all the tasty little things displayed. Would you be happy if I told you that for some of them you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and get baking?

These delectable pear tarts took me 30 minutes to make. True story.  What is even better I’ve prepared a step-by step tutorial on how you can do the same and perhaps even wow your friends and family at your Thanksgiving feast!

This dessert is beautiful and delicious despite the simplicity of preparation. I also love that it uses a very plain fruit like pear and turns it into a real star! I’ve used prepared and already rolled puff pastry which made the whole process pure joy. All you really need to do do is assemble the tarts – kind of like craft, actually.

Salted Caramel Pear Tarts

Ingredients: {Makes 8 tarts}

  • All Butter Puff Pastry- 1 sheet/375 gr
  • Egg (beaten)- 1
  • Pears-4 small or medium
  • Demerara Sugar (or brown sugar)- 8 tsp.
  • Double Cream/Whipping Cream- 8 tsp.
  • Coarse Sea Salt- a pinch

Method:

Preheat your oven to 375F/190C. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out your puff pastry. If you are using a block dust your work surface with some flour and roll out a rectangle 1/4″ thick. Divide your rectangular shaped puff pastry into 8 squares. With a sharp knife, cut an “L”  into 2 opposing corners, don’t cut all the way but leave  a ½-inch in two corners. Brush with the beaten egg . Pick up the cut corners of the pastry, cross them over each other (one over, one under) and lay them flat (now on opposite sides).
Salted Caramel Pear Tarts Brush the tops of the pastry with the eggwash and put the tray in the refrigerator to chill.
Salted Caramel Pear Tarts
Now prepare the pear filling. Peel the pears and split them in half lengthwise, core them, and slice in 1/4″ slices. Take the pastry shells out of the fridge and set it on your work surface, place one pear half in the centre of each tart. Then sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of double cream per tart, then add a pinch sea salt on top. Brown sugar, cream and sea salt turn into salted caramel in the oven without you doing a thing! Genius.
Salted Caramel Pear Tarts
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until pears are soft and pastry is golden.
Salted Caramel Pear Tarts
These tarts have a very delicate taste and are not too sweet. I’ve served mine dusted with powdered sugar.

Salted Caramel Pear Tarts
But some them got golden sugar treatment. 🙂

Salted Caramel Pear Tarts
Recipe source: Anna Olson

Banoffee Tartlets

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Banoffee Tartlets
If you are not from England chances are you’ve never heard of Banoffee Pie before and it’s a real shame. I reckon the invention of Banoffee Pie should stand on equal footing with industrialisation and discovering of DNA and other great things that came out of England. Well, maybe not quite as equal, maybe just a teensy bit lower. Banoffee Pie is the magic combination of everything that is good and true. Sweet and silky Banana plus rich and indulgent Toffee equals Ban+offee. Throw in some chocolate and you get the picture. Pure bliss.
Banoffee Tartlets
The best thing is they are EASY to make and even easier to enjoy. I served them for dessert last weekend for my giant dinner party because when you cook a big meal the last thing you want is to fuss over a dessert as well. A snap to make but do they ever look impressive! Here is my version of the  famous Banoffee Pie. I made a couple of changes but nothing major that would alter the taste. I filled the tarts with dulce de leche instead of toffee and added mascarpone to the cream in order to create a more stable frosting that could be piped.Banoffee Tartlets

Ingredients:  {for 8 Tartlets}

  • 8 all-butter pre-made tartlet cases (You can of course make your own)
  • Sweet and condensed Milk- 1 can
  • Banana, sliced-2
  • Mascarpone- 1/2 cup/ 100gr
  • Whipping Cream/Double Cream- 1 cup/ 250 ml
  • Icing Sugar- 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla-1 tsp.
  • Rum-1tbsp. (optional)
  • Chocolate for chocolate curls or cocoa for dusting-50 gr or 1tbsp of cocoa

Banoffee Tartlets

Method:

Remove the label from the can of sweet and condensed milk and put it in the pot completely submerged in water.  Bring to a boil and continue cooking for 1.5-2 hours. Make sure your can is completely covered in water through the duration of cooking or it will explode.  Cool until it’s ready to use. When you open it you will discover that your “ole” plain can of sweet and condensed milk got transformed into glamourous and silky dulce de leche.

This step could be done well in advance. I had mine stored for a couple of weeks before I got around to use it. On a side note,  I have to brag about the fact that Russian babushkas have been making dulce de leche for years before it became trendy all over North America, so the taste of “sgushenka” is the taste of childhood for every Russian child.

Whip mascarpone with double cream, icing sugar, vanilla and rum until it’s the right consistency for piping roses.

Spread your dulce de leche equally among 8 tartlets, top with sliced bananas. Pipe the mascarpone cream frosting on top and dust with cocoa or decorate with chocolate curls.

For Chocolate Curls:

Melt the chocolate in the microwave and spread it thinly on a baking tray, pop it in the fridge for 3 minutes to set. Take it out and let it stand for a couple of minutes to soften a bit. Drag a knife or a cheese slicer like I did  along the surface of the chocolate to make the curls. When you have enough curls, put them back in the fridge for a couple of minutes to harden.

Banoffee Tartlets
Leave one or two of your tartlets curl-free to show off that gorgeous rose, just a little of cocoa dusting will do.

Banoffee Tartlets
Banoffee TartletsBanoffee Tartlets