Chef Citrin’s final Thanksgiving recipe from our organic produce box is, naturally, a dessert. But not just any dessert, clearly. In true Michelin-starred style, what Citrin whipped up from Summerland’s fresh local pears is a dessert that will surprise and delight your dinner guests and have even you impressed with yourself in the kitchen.
Although we love a good old-fashioned apple pie, these tarts feel like a modern, foodie-friendly twist on the holiday staple. Pears stand in for apples and the strong blue cheese takes the whole thing to another level. Here is the recipe with notes from the chef…
This tart is an amazing dessert that I first had at Alain Passard’s L’Arpege. That first bite will blow your mind and leave you wanting more, which is what really great food is all about.
Blue Cheese and Pear Tart
For the tarts:
1 sheet puff pastry, rolled lightly
1 pear, ripe but firm, peeled and cored
8 oz St. Agur or fourme d’Ambert cheese, cut thin
1 Tbsp butter, melted
sugar in a sugar shaker
1 egg mixed with a drop of water for egg wash
1 round cookie cutter, straight edge, 4 ¼ inches
1 round cookie cutter, straight edge, 3 ¾ inches
parchment paper cut into four 5-inch squares
For the honey butter:
3 Tbsp of the best honey you can find
1 Tbsp of the wine that will be served with dish
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To prepare the tarts: Place the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface. With the 4 ¼ inch ring, cut out 4 circles of puff pastry. Lightly mark the pastry with the 3 ¾ inch ring. Prick the inside of the smaller circle with a fork. Arrange on a non-stick baking sheet.
Cut pear in half lengthwise then slice thinly from top to bottom. Arrange pear slices in the center of the puff pastry circle. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Place the smaller cookie cutter on a parchment square, then arrange cheese slices in the ring. Remove ring then repeat with remaining 3 squares.
For the honey butter: In a heavy saucepan, caramelize honey, add wine, bring back to a boil and whisk in butter. Remove from heat. This can be done ahead of time and kept warm.
To finish: Brush pear with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Brush outer edge of tart with egg wash. Place in the oven and bake until warm and golden. Remove tarts from oven and place cheese circles on top of pears as quickly as possible. Place on warm plates and drizzle with honey butter.