“I had the honor of cooking for Julia Child’s 80th birthday party at the home of a former F&W editor in chief,” says Grace Parisi. “At the end of the evening, Child graciously asked, ‘Who made that looovely dessert?’ I managed to croak out, ‘I did.’ These tartlets are a variation on that recipe.”
More Fruit Tart Recipes
14 ounces all-butter puff pastry, chilled
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large Bartlett pears—peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/4 cup pear brandy
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
6 tablespoons crème fraîche
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 425°. On a work surface, sprinkle the top of the pastry with 1/4 cup of the sugar and, using a rolling pin, roll the sugar lightly into the dough. Flip the pastry and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup of the sugar. Roll out the pastry to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Using a 4-inch round plate as a template, cut out six rounds of pastry.
Transfer the pastry rounds to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and poke them all over with a fork. Top with another sheet of parchment and baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned. Remove the top sheet and parchment paper and bake the rounds for 10 minutes longer, until caramelized. Slide the paper and pastry rounds onto a rack and let cool.
Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the pears and cook over high heat, tossing gently, until barely softened, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the pear brandy. Return the skillet to the heat and cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.
In a small skillet, melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Add the sliced almonds and cook over high heat, stirring, until golden, 3 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a plate and sprinkle with salt.
Dollop the crème fraîche on the pastry rounds and top with the pears and almonds. Serve right away.
The baked pastry rounds can be stored in an airtight container overnight. The caramelized pears can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm before serving.
Juicy, lightly sweet sparkling wine such as a Moscato d’Asti.
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