Puff Pastry makes this Pear and Mascarpone Tart with Bourbon Salted Caramel a cinch to put together.
I’m starting to think that pears may replace grapefruit as my favorite fruit. Not that I didn’t love pears before–They’re a nice alternative when one is sick of apples. But I fell head over heels for them (again) in California. There’s nothing like appreciating food straight from the source. When I returned from the IFBC, I signed up for the California Pear newsletter, and ended up winning a box of pears!
And that meant I needed to make something with the pears. Yeah, we could’ve just eaten them all. That’s what I did with the three Stark Crimsons I got–Those are my favorites. But the others (Bosc and Bartlett) were just begging to be made into something tasty. I had puff pastry in the fridge that I needed to use, and came up with a Pear and Mascarpone Tart with Bourbon Salted Caramel.
My Bosc pears still had a little bite to them–Jay said they reminded him of apples, but they tasted sweet and delicious. The bourbon salted caramel cut the overall sweetness just enough.
This is another dessert I was told I could definitely make again. I’ve got plenty of salted caramel left, and a couple sheets of puff pastry–I just need to snag more pears. But now that they’re in season, that shouldn’t be a problem!
For the Bourbon Salted Caramel:
- 1 C packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. bourbon
For the Tart:
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- Flour, for dusting
- 1 8-oz. container mascarpone
- 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
- 3 ripe Bosc pears, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 Tbsp. bourbon
Make the salted caramel sauce first by combining the brown sugar, cream, butter, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, and whisk occasionally. Allow to boil for 7-10 minutes, then carefully add the bourbon. Continue whisking for 5-7 more minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat, and cool for 5 minutes before pouring into a bowl or jar to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to fit an 11 x 7-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold over the edges as necessary and push the dough against the sides of the pan. Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients..
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. of sugar, and the vanilla bean paste. Beat on medium speed with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes. Toss the pear slices with the remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.
Remove the tart from the refrigerator, and spread the mascarpone along the bottom of the dough. Top with the pear slices, slightly overlapping if necessary, to fit. Brush the pears with the 1 Tbsp. bourbon, then bake for 20-22 minutes, or until bubbly and the dough is slightly browned.
Cool to room temperature before drizzling with the salted caramel. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed.