I am back with another wonderful #AppyHolidays recipe this week! This recipe is for all of those who like something a little bit elegant and complex in flavour, but don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen creating it! These Pear & Goat Cheese Tartlets are great little appetizers to serve at a cocktail party or as a first course of your holiday dinner this year, perhaps with a side salad!
Using the Best of the Season
The late fall/early winter is when pears begin to come into season here in BC. And when they start arriving, I can’t stop myself from eating them! They’re sweet and have a nice subtle flavour, making them the perfect fruit to pair with other ingredients! Plus, if you can find locally grown pears (yes, those exist here in B.C.) then you will be on your way to making a wonderful seasonal and local recipe!
A Delicate Combination of Flavours and Textures
When combining sweet and savoury flavours, I like to keep things simple with basic, but good quality ingredients that speak for themselves, and just combine them so that they compliment each other perfectly.
In this recipe, I use savoury puff pastry and goat cheese and combine it with sweet pear and honey. The addition of rosemary is very complimentary as it is savoury– but I don’t add too much to avoid overpowering the flavours of the tartlet! An unexpected hit of spice from some cayenne pepper adds a nice bite and somehow makes the flavours compliment each other even more. You may think it’s an odd ingredient to add but trust me, you will taste a big difference if you leave it out!
Texture also plays a role in this recipe, and I feel like it’s what makes it so elegant! The flaky puff pastry combined with the creamy goats cheese, softened pear, and runny honey really make these a special appetizer fit for the holiday season!
I hope that you enjoy this festive appetizer recipe this year! Check back next Tuesday for another great #AppyHolidays recipe!
If you want to make this recipe for Pear & Goat Cheese Tartlets, click here for the recipe or scroll down below!
Recipe: Pear & Goat Cheese Tartlets
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour
For the Tartlets:
- 1 cup fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 Anjou pear, thinly sliced
- 1 Bosc pear, thinly sliced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ cup flour, for dusting
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 4 tablespoons rosemary-infused honey (recipe below)
For the Rosemary-Infused Honey:
- 1 cup local BC honey
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
Begin by making the cheese filling. In a large bowl, combine the goat cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix everything to combine and set aside.
Use a sharp knife (or mandoline) to thinly slice the pears to a thickness of 3mm. Place on a plate and set aside.
Next, make the eggwash. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk until fully incorporated. Set aside.
Lightly dust a clean worksurface with flour. Unroll one sheet of puff pastry and use a sharp knife to cut it into 6 equal rectangles.
Use a sharp knife to score a 1 cm border around each rectangle, making sure to not cut all the way through the puff pastry. Scoring will allow the edges of the pastry to rise around the filling.
Use a pastry brush to brush the edges of each rectangle with the egg wash. You do not need to brush the center of the rectangle, as the filing will go in there.
Next, spread 2 tablespoons of the goat cheese filling to the centre of the rectangle, keeping the filling within the scored edge. Add one slice of bosc pear on top of the filling, followed by a slice of Anjou pear (for colour difference).
Use a spatula to transfer the tartlets to a parchment-lined baking tray. Space the tartlets at least 3cm apart so they have room to rise as they bake.
Place the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes so that the puff pastry firms up again. Repeat this process for the other sheet of puff pastry.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the tartlets from the freezer and place in the oven. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown, turning the trays halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.
Remove the tartlets from the oven and let them cool on the trays for 10 minutes. Once cooled, drizzle each tartlet with 1 teaspoon of the Rosemary-Infused Honey.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Add the honey and one sprig of fresh rosemary to a small saucepot. Heat the honey on the stove over medium heat until small bubbles form. Stir occasionally to ensure the honey does not burn.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, remove the sprig of rosemary and discard. Transfer the honey into a small bowl or jar to cool completely.