Creamy Ginger-Pear Tarts with Hazelnuts
Pears are finally in season again, and they make wonderful fillings for pies and tarts. The recipe I'm offering you today--Ginger-Pear Tarts--is simple enough to make on a weeknight. The tarts are filled with juicy pears, studded with bits of crystallized ginger, and crowned with buttery hazelnuts. Rather than using fussy pie crusts or sweet cookie crumb crusts, the tarts start with refrigerated flaky biscuits as their base, which keeps them a bit lighter than the usual tarts as well as easier. Plus, you can easily vary the number of tarts you make. If you want five tarts, use a 5-count can of biscuits. If you want eight, use the 8-count can of biscuits and double the filling (yes, you'll have a little extra filling that you can distribute among the tarts or have as a "cook's treat"). The tarts make a special ending to a weeknight meal and are great warm from the oven with a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt or eaten at room temperature.
Creamy Ginger-Pear Tarts with Hazelnuts -- Makes 5
1 tube of 5-count Jumbo Flaky Layer Biscuits (Pillsbury Grands, 10.2 ounces or
2 small pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/3
2 tablespoons of chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of light sour cream
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup of roasted, skinned hazelnuts (or substitute pecans)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat a baking or cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line the sheet with parchment paper. Open the can of biscuits and place the biscuits on the baking sheet. With a glass or cup with a 2-inch round bottom, press down in the center of each biscuit to form a well. You want the sides of the biscuit to come up about 1/2-inch above the bottom of the well to form the tart shell. You may need to turn the glass over and shape the biscuit over the bottom of the glass if the biscuits are especially cold. Bake the biscuits about 6 minutes or until puffed and just starting to turn golden. While the biscuits are baking, in a microwave-safe bowl or measure, combine the pears, crystallized ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon, sour cream, and flour and stir the ingredients well. Microwave the mixture for 3-5 minutes, stirring the mixture every minute, until it thickens and the pears soften just a bit. Remove the biscuits from the oven and with the back of a small spoon, gently depress the well, which will have puffed a bit during the pre-baking. Divide the pear mixture among the biscuit cups, mounding it a bit, if necessary. Sprinkle the tops of the tarts evenly with the hazelnuts. Return the tarts to the oven for another 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.