Here’s what I want you to do: Drop everything Monday is asking for and make this tart. Seriously. It’ll change your day — nay, your week. Nay — your LIFE.
(OK that might be an exaggeration, but the point is it’s really tasty.)
Ever since I saw Deb’s gorgeous mosaic tart (ummm yes, “ever since” meaning like three years ago) I’ve been wanting to have a go at my own version. I’m generally more one for eating fussy, fancy desserts rather than making them — and as you can see by the rustic-ness of this tart, I need a lot of practice in the latter — but this one is worth every effort it takes to delicately arrange the thin pear slices in a circular design. And even that isn’t so hard.
Plus, in the end you get a stunning, caramel glazed tart with a sweet pear filling and a tender, flaky phyllo crust. It also happens to be super delicious, too.
I was tempted to make this an apple tart, but here’s what happened: I saw the display of beautiful Bosc pears at the store and I just couldn’t pass them up. I had no intentions at the time of making this dessert — I just wanted to eat a whole bunch of pears, apparently. But then, as often happens in our household, I realized when I got home that I had also been wooed a few days earlier by the strawberry display, and the blueberry display. And just like that, our produce drawer was filled to the brim with fruit that needed to be put to use.
So I made some smoothies, I cut up a few berries for the tot (she is OBSESSED with blueberries), and then I decided this tart needed to happen. I think that might have been one of my better decisions in life.
I fear I may have miscommunicated earlier the level of fussiness for this tart, so let me assure you — if I took the time to make it, you certainly can, too. Because I am the Most Impatient of All when it comes to making desserts and I don’t have time/patience to craft anything worthy of a high-end bakery in my kitchen — and I assume you don’t, either. So let me be clear: This tart is easy. And the result just happens to be beautiful. And if all else fails, who really cares what it looks like when you take one bite and realize the rest of it isn’t going to make it to see the light of day because HOLYWHOAYUM. Or something like that.
But while I do sincerely love the pear filling topped with a thin caramel glaze, my favorite favorite part of the tart is the phyllo crust. Layers of impossibly thin, butter-brushed Athens fillo dough is placed into a tart pan in a fanned circle, then folded in to create a delicate crust. Then the crust is filled with pears, baked to golden brown perfection, and brushed with caramel. And just like that — dessert. ← which might be my new life’s motto.
So, like I said: Drop everything and make this tart. You’ll be glad you did.
- 10 sheets Athens Fillo Dough
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 to 4 medium Bosc pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Generous pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush 1 sheet fillo dough with melted butter, then gently press into bottom and sides of 9-inch tart pan, letting ends extend over edges of pan.
- Repeat with remaining fillo dough, brushing each layer with butter and arranging in pan in rotation so corners of dough do not overlap. Fold in edges of dough, slightly pinching sides to form crust.
- Arrange pear slices in decorative circles in prepared crust. Sprinkle top with sugar and cubes of butter.
- Bake 45 minutes until crust is deep golden brown and pear topping is cooked. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack; leave oven on.
- Meanwhile, in small saucepan over medium heat, heat sugar until dissolved. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, carefully swirling pan, until sugar begins to caramelize and turn amber in color. Remove from heat; stir in butter and salt until combined. Stir in heavy cream.
- Return saucepan to stovetop over medium heat; continue to cook sauce 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and smooth. Remove from heat.
- Carefully and quickly brush top of tart with caramel sauce (you may need to reheat sauce over medium heat if it becomes too thick). Be sure to brush both crust and pear topping (there may be some caramel sauce left over). Return tart to oven and bake 10 minutes until caramel is melted and just begins to bubble.
- Return tart to cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.
Disclosure: I received compensation from Athens Foods for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.