Harvest Pear with Walnut and Honey Cream Cheese Tart
Try saying that five times fast. I couldn’t think of a shorter title that would capture the true essence of this sweet, luscious, perfect-for-fall [great for calorie loading in preparation for winter hibernation] cheesecake-y dessert recipe. If it wasn’t such a long title already, I would also add ‘easy’, as this recipe is extremely quick and simple. Unless, like me, you are a sucker for punishment and make the puff pastry, instead of buying it, the preparation and cooking time combined is only 40 minutes. In my opinion, if you can find a good quality frozen puff pastry, it will save you time and won’t compromise on taste. What ever pastry-path you take, the resulting tart is equally as good for dessert (add a small scoop of ice-cream or whipped cream, and maybe a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce) as it is for breakfast. [If you aren’t a pear lover, you could substitute apple and add a pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg.]
8 oz.cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 sheet puff pastry, cold
1 large egg
2 medium ripe pears
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp liquid honey (I used a local, wildflower honey)
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line baking sheet with parchment.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, 2 tsp lemon juice and vanilla to the bowl, continuing to beat until smooth. Set aside.
Roll out puff pastry on a floured work surface until it is just slightly smaller than the border of your baking sheet. Place the puff pastry on the parchment lining of your baking sheet. Score the edges of the puff pastry to make a 1/2-inch border on all sides.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the puff pastry all over with the egg wash. Spread the cream cheese mixture in the centre of the puff pastry.
Wash pears, slice tops and bottoms off, quarter them and slice off the core corners. Leave the skin on and thinly slice your quarters (approximately 1/8″ to 1/16″ thickness). Add pear slices to a bowl. Toss in chopped walnuts, 1 tsp lemon juice, one pinch of sea salt and honey. Toss until all is mixed and well coated. Array the pear slices as desired over the cream cheese, then sprinkle the walnuts and remaining liquid evenly over top.
Bake the tart for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cream cheese is golden and puffed. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Cut as desired and serve.