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!
1 ½PoundBosc Pears(about 1-2 jumbo pears) – peeled and diced
2tspLight Brown Sugar
2ouncesGruyere Cheese– coarsely grated
1packageFrozen Puff Pastry– thawed
1LargeEgg, 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, 1/8 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!
Yield: 32 Tarts 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.