This simple technique for creating a tart shell serves as a wonderful starting point for any number of toppings. For this tart, use any variety of pear (with the exception of Asian) but be sure it is still firm but not hard as a rock. If you choose a smooth skinned pear there is no need to peel the fruit, but for a russet skinned pear like Bosc, the fruit should be peeled.
Check out Grand Central Bakery Co-owner & cookbook author Piper Davis’ video for step-by-step instructions to create the Puff Pastry base.
Makes one 12 x 8-inch tart. Serves 6.
1 12 x 8-inch rectangle Grand Central U-Bake Classic Puff Pastry
2 ripe but firm pears
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, or all spice
Prepare to bake
Defrost puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for about 1 ½ hours. Unroll sheet and cut a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Refrigerate rectangle while you prepare filling and return remaining pastry to freezer for future use. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Slice pears and measure sugar
Slice pears in half and take the whole core out. Place flat side of the pear half on the cutting board and use a chef’s knife to cut slices no thicker than a 1/8th of and inch but no bigger than a 1/4 inch. Combine brown and white sugar along with any spices you’d like to add and set sugar mixture aside.
Ready the puff pastry
Pull puff pastry from the refrigerator and place on lined baking sheet. Use a paring knife to trace a smaller rectangle on the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. Be careful not to cut all the way through the dough. The 1-inch border will puff up and be the edge of the tart. Use a fork to dock, or poke small holes in, the center rectangle.
Shingle fruit and top with sugar
Shingle pear over the top of the puff pastry. I like to line up the pears with the wide end on the outside of the tart while taking care to no cover any of the edge with fruit. Lay slices a close together as possible. Sprinkle sugar mixture over fruit. Chill tart for 20 minutes.
While tart is chilling, preheat oven to 400F. Bake tart for 15-20 minutes. Turn oven down to 350F and bake another 10-20 minutes or until pastry is rich golden brown and the fruit is soft. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.