Flaky puff pastry topped with smoky, caramelized onions, sweet pears, earthy thyme and decadent gorgonzola and gruyere cheeses. These Caramelized Onion & Pear Tarts are the perfect way to start your holiday parties!
Hi friends! Happy Thanksgiving week!! I can hardly believe I just typed that.
This IS the week of THANKSGIVING. Holy cannoli, right?
Where DID 2016 go? I’m slightly freaked out at the prospect that before we know it, I will be telling you guys Happy New Year.
Straight up craziness, right there.
Anyways, we are going to keep things short today. Because, not only are we only 3 days away from Thanksgiving, and I KNOW you guys have things to do – final touches on the menu, grocery shopping, house cleaning, decorating, etc.
BUT, we are also only 2 days away from Boy’s birthday. WAHOO! So while you guys will be preparing for Turkey Day, I have to prepare for the hubster’s very special day.
And, on that note, enough chatter. Let’s talk about holidays and appetizers.
Legit, appetizers are my all-time favorite part of any party (well that, and the cocktails, let’s just keep it real here).
Seriously, I get heart eyes FOR DAYS over mini bites. I absolutely L.O.V.E. them. And if given the chance, I would make a holiday JUST for appetizers. 😉
So, in honor of my admiration for hor d’oeuvres, I thought I’d share a fantastic little amuse-bouche with you guys today. You know, juuuust in case you don’t have the appetizer portion of your Thanksgiving extravaganza covered.
But, make a mental note, these little bites of puff pastry heaven would also be an excellent addition to ANY of your holiday gatherings – Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s. Whatever!
Caramelized Onion & Pear Tarts with Gorgonzola & Gruyere
You guys! Puff pastry perfection is going on ri-cheer.
These bites may be mini in size, but they pack a flavorful punch!
Flaky, buttery puff pastry topped with smoky caramelized onions; sweet, fruity pears; earthy thyme, and cheesy, decadent gorgonzola and gruyere.
Seriously guys, make these. Devour these. And repeat… at every party from now to eternity. 😉
- If you have been caramelizing your onions and NOT deglazing the pan at the end with liquid, like a splash or two of alcohol, you have been doing it all wrong. 😉 The alcohol cooks off, but the flavor it leaves behind is amazing. I always use a few splashes of Brandy to deglaze the pan, and I have written it in the recipe below. However, feel free to use whatever liquid you would like. White wine works well, but if you want to do a splash of stock or broth, that is fine too! Just use some sort of liquid, because you want to scrape up all the flavor in those browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- The onions and pears can be caramelized and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- You can either make little puff pastry tarts as shown here, or you can keep the puff pastry whole and serve it more like a flatbread or pizza. If you cut it into bites, you will have a little bit of scraps of puff pastry left over. Simply discard them as there won’t be enough to utilize.
- The tarts can be assembled and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours before baking.
Add these Caramelized Onion & Pear Tarts to one of your holiday menus. I pinkie promise they are guaranteed to please!
Until next week friends, cheers! To all my friends in the USA, I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving!
- 1 TBS Vegetable Oil
- 3 TBS Unsalted Butter, divided
- 1 ½ Pounds Yellow Onions – thinly sliced (about 2-3 onions)
- 1 ½ Pound Bosc Pears (about 1-2 jumbo pears) – peeled and diced
- 2 tsp Light Brown Sugar
- 2 TBS Brandy
- 2 ounces Gruyere Cheese – coarsely grated
- 2 ounces Gorgonzola – crumbled
- 1 TBS Fresh Thyme
- 1 package Frozen Puff Pastry – thawed
- 1 Large Egg, beaten with 2 TBS of Water
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
- Optional for Serving: Balsamic Vinegar or Reduction
- Caramelize the Onions: Heat oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and ½ tsp salt. COVER and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. UNCOVER and continue to cook, stirring often, for 20-25 minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Deglaze the pan with brandy* and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.*
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and position 1 rack in the lower third and 1 rack in the upper third positions in the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cook the Pears: In the same skillet you used for the onions, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the pears and cook, stirring frequently, until the pears are slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and stir to coat. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until pears are fully softened, about 5-8 additional minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions and let cool.
- Cut the puff pastry into 2’’ squares* and transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1’’ apart. Brush the pastry squares with egg mixture.
- Add both cheeses, thyme, ⅛ tsp salt and a pinch of pepper to onion and pear mixture. Stir to combine. Place a heaping 1 tablespoon onion mixture in the center of each puff pastry square.
- Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the pastry is golden and crisp, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- To Serve: Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the tarts cool to room temperature before serving. Serve with Balsamic Vinegar for drizzling (optional). Enjoy!
1. I used Brandy to deglaze the pan, because I like the hint of sweetness, but feel free to use whatever liquid you would like. White wine works well, but you can also use stock or broth. Just make sure you use some sort of liquid, because you want to scrape up all the flavor in those browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
2. The onions and pears can be caramelized and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
3. You can either make little puff pastry tarts as shown here, or you can keep the puff pastry whole and serve it more like a flatbread or pizza. If you cut it into bites, you will have a little bit of scraps of puff pastry left over. Simply discard them as there won't be enough to utilize.
4. The tarts can be assembled and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours before baking.
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