Savoury Pear Brie and Prosciutto Tart by The Lemon Apron
A lovely appetizer or lunch tart combining creamy brie, sweet pears, salty prosciutto and topped with a good cracking of black pepper. For a vegetarian option, see recipe notes below.
- 2-3 Bartlett pears, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 cup pear nectar (see recipe notes)
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
- 1/2 lb (250 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed and rolled to fit a 7.5 x10.5 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Can also use a 10-inch round tart pan.
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 lb (225 g) double cream brie cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- 6-8 slices of fresh prosciutto
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked DRØM black pepper
Serves 4-6 for lunch or 6-8 as a great appetizer
- Preheat the oven to 375F and place a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Using a medium to large skillet, simmer the pear slices in the pear nectar over medium heat. After about 10 minutes, they should have softened, but still be just crisp. Use a fork to test; if it goes in without forcing, they are ready (see recipe notes).
- Remove the pear slices to a bowl. Reduce the nectar until it is thickened - to about 2 tbsp. Pour this over the pear slices. Add the thyme and toss gently.
- Place the pastry into the tart pan, arranging the corners loosely to form the sides. (Alternatively you can place the pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet, rolled to 10 inch square. Use a sharp knife to score a 1/2 inch border around the entire tart. If doing this, brush the edge with a quick egg wash of egg beaten with a touch of water).
- Spread the mustard over the bottom of the tart (the centre portion of the free form tart).
- Top the mustard with the sliced brie.
- Top the cheese with the sliced pears, layering them decoratively (if using a free form tart, don't push the pears up against the border - leave about 1/2 inch).
- Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. If you find the pastry hasn't browned enough, place the rack in the middle and turn on the broiler. Watch it - it won't take long!
- To serve, fold the prosciutto slices decoratively over the pears. Crack fresh DRØM black pepper over everything. This is best served warm, not hot out of the oven.
- To make this vegetarian, toss 2-3 cups of arugula with 1 tbsp of good olive oil and 1/2 tsp of lemon juice. Pile it on top of the tart out of the oven, and then crack the pepper over it all.
- You will need some pear nectar for this recipe. You should be able to find pear nectar in most grocery stores in the juice aisle. If not, you will definitely find it in any European grocery store. Europeans love pears, in juice, in jams, jellies, desserts etc. But it’s worth the trip to picking up a bottle. And then use the rest for cocktails or in smoothies.
- The key to the success of this tart is the sautéing of the pears first. To just layer raw slices of pear over the tender brie wouldn’t work. They will not soften enough in the oven to meld correctly with the cheese. By softening them in simmering pear nectar first will give them the correct texture for the finished tart. If not, they would be too firm and would pull away and tear the tart apart. You want to be able to grab pear and cheese in the same bite. Choose a firm, just ripe pear that won’t turn mealy.