When I made the first Very Thin Tart with sweet potatoes, I tried several versions of toppings. In this one I changed the sweet potato for pears. The end result is the same, a mixture of sweet and savoury. This tart has to be assembled at the last minute and cooked before serving. I used pre-rolled puff pastry sheets, rolled to 1/4 inch thickness and used a 4.5 inch plate to cut around and have all circles the same size. —Maria Teresa Jorge
pre-rolled puff pastry sheets
pears on the greener side to withstand cooking
big mushrooms, stem removed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sweet soft Gorgonzola
Fleur de sel
lightly roasted pinenuts
pomegranate, seeds removed
In This Recipe
For the pears: Choose pears that are slightly hard and underripe so they can withstand the cooking otherwise you'll end up with a puree. Peel and cut in quarters. Slice crosswise 1/2 inch thick each quarter so you have little trinagles.
Peel and chop very finely the shallots. In a saute pan add the butter, melt over medium low heat, add the shallots. When translucent add the pear, add salt, freshly grated white pepper and maple syrup, mix and let the pears cook for 8-10 minutes. The pears should retain their form - if you see they are cooking too quickly remove from the heat. Use a spatula so that the shallots don't attach to the sides of the saute pan and burn.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F and put rack in upper third.
For the mushrooms: Line a baking tray with parchment paper and smear with a little garlic infused olive oil (see recipe I posted). Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth, keeping the head whole. Put them cap size down on baking tray, add salt, freshly ground pepper and thyme, drizzle with garlic infused olive oil and cook in the oven for 15 minutes until they are golden brown. Cut them up in slices and check the seosoning.
Open your puff pastry and if it's thick roll it out so you get to 1/4 inch thickness. You really want these tarts to be extra thin. Roll out the puff pastry between 2 sheets of parchment paper (if you roll out dusting the pastry with flour the puff pastry will end up heavier because it will absorb all the flour).
Remove the top parchment sheet, cut 6 equal circles of 4.5 inch diameter - I used a plate to cut around (or cut in square or rectangle, whichever you prefer).
Important note: always use a very sharp knife to cut the puff pastry and cut down sharply rather then a pulling motion with the knife. You want the pastry to be cut through vertically so it puffs, if you pull it, the layers will stick together and won't puff up.
Cover the puff pastry with the top parchment sheet and chill until you need it.
Cut up the Gorgonzola in small pieces and divide in 6 equal portions.
Prepare the pomegranate - Cut in quarters, bend back the skin and remove the seeds with no pith, and reserve in a bowl.
Rise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F; Put the puff pastry disks on a baking sheet lined with the parchment paper you used to roll out the dough. Divide the cooked pears on the puff pastry leaving 1/4 inch around clean, Divide the Gorgonzola on top and put in the oven to cook until puff pastry has risen and is golden brown and cheese melted.
Remove tray from oven, add the chopped mushrooms, return to the oven to warm up the mushrooms and let the flavours blend. Sprinkle with toasted pinenuts, thyme and Fleur de Sel.
Serve immediately with a fresh green salad seasoned with some vinaigrette and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.