Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Poached Pears in Puff Pastry Bed (Like Planting Fall Bulbs)


I love Fall, but it can be bittersweet if you are a gardener. I am not a gardener, but my mother is one of the extraordinary sort.  Her lawn is always impeccable and her flower beds are award-winning (no kidding!).  Lately she's been hard at work pulling up annuals and cleaning out the remnants of her vegetable garden. While I was assembling this dessert, it occurred to me that this might be something she would want to make in the colder months, when she's lonely for gardening. Small pears remind me of  flower bulbs, and here they are poached and "planted" on ready-made puff pastry. Once baked and cooled, they are sprinkled with"soil" (chocolate shavings), and a sprig of mint on top gives the effect of emerging leaves.



My last pear and puff pastry creation was easy to make, but this might be even easier!  I firmly believe that anyone can make this... and should.


Poached Pear in Puff Pastry Bed 
Yield: 6 servings                                                                                                                      [click for printable]

Poach the pears:
6 firm Bosc pears or 12 firm Seckel pears, peeled
2 quarts of water
3 cups granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, split
1/2 lemon
2-4 Whole star anise
3 cinnamon sticks

1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 quarts of water.  Squeeze lemon into the water, then add sugar, vanilla beans, star anise and cinnamon sticks.  Add the squeezed lemon rind also.
2. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  When sugar has dissolved, add pears.
3. Simmer peeled pears for 25 minutes.  Remove from heat and place pears on a plate to drain.

Make the tranche (puff pastry container):
1 package puff pastry (the kind that has two sheets that tri-fold)
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water (egg wash)

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment, set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Allow puff pastry to thaw according to directions.  Roll puff pastry slightly thinner with a rolling pin. Transfer to baking sheet and coat with egg wash.
3. Place 3 (6 if using Seckels) poached pears in the middle of each puff pastry.  Beginning at the bottom, near the pears, fold in the edges of the puff pastry accordion style (like you'd fold a fan) creating a tall edge on each side.  You may also choose to cut a 6x12 inch rectangle of puff pastry for the bottom, then cut two 1/2 inch strips to stack on the edges. (see picture below)
4. Score the edges with the back of a knife, creating a quilted pattern.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 425 degrees, or until puff pastry is golden.


Assembly:
6 mint sprigs
3/4 cup chocolate shavings

1. When pastry is cool, sprinkle chocolate shavings around the base of the pears and into the tranche.
2. Insert 1 sprig of mint into the tops of the poached pears where the stem would be.
3. To divide into servings, cut puff pastry between pears.  Serve with a knife and fork.

Note: I did not core my pears, but you may choose to do so.


46 comments:

lifeofcarbon said...

This just looks so elegant.
Saving it for Christmas. :)

Louise, Raspberries In Winter said...

This is amazing! What an awesome idea, and it looks so yummy!

Sara said...

Wow, so pretty! Gorgeous photos...it really does look like planting bulbs!

Maia said...

Very cute! a great dessert for dining at a gardening enthusiast's!

Lili said...

This is such a sweet idea Heather! And new to me is that French tranche technique which in itself is just so cool. I DO feel a little sad about fall coming with the garden and all, but just seeing your sweet creation makes me happy! xoxo ~Lili

The Vanilla Bean Baker said...

Beautifully written and photographed post. Those pears look so proud sitting in their little pastry bed.

Elizabeth Ann (Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box said...

These are beautiful! :-) I can't wait to make them! :-)

Julie said...

So gorgeous!

Mel said...

Beautiful.... and yet I believe must be real delicious too!

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

so, so, so gorgeous. i wish i lived in your house!

Joy said...

That looks so lovely.

Heather (Heather's Dish) said...

is it weird that i wish i had my very own puff pastry container? I sure hope not :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is a really pretty tart and unusual way of decorating it! I really love that seasonal creation.

Cheers,

Rosa

Yasmeen said...

Absolutely lovely - pears and chocolate are getting a lot of love lately, and I am all aboard that train. It's a delicious, classic yet oft-forgotten marriage.

Beautiful presentation, too!

amanda @ fake ginger said...

This has got to be the cutest thing I've ever seen!

warmvanillasugar said...

Yum! This is so tasty looking! Beautiful photos!

Taste Junction said...

This is so cool..and looks delish too!!

Megan said...

So pretty! And they totally do look like bulbs. I've never poached pears, but both of your pear posts are making me realize more and more how much I have to do it.

Deborah said...

That is seriously beautiful!!

Lauren said...

I love poached pears and the tranche is too adorable with its decorative pattern. Now I have to find out if any of the stores around here carry all-butter puff pastry!

Nicole said...

so pretty & elegant! i love the pictures!

Divya Yadava said...

Very festive looking! Love it.

Sandra said...

Love the simple elegance and thanks for the tutorial on the Tranche. Hope your mom enjoys this dessert and the fall.

Mari said...

Beautiful presentation!! I am sure it is tasty!

Jennifer (Delicieux) said...

This looks so delicious! I love poached pears and I love chocolate so this tart has it all as far as I'm concerned.

tartedujour said...

What a stunning tart... elegant and original! I'm glad I stopped by!

Sue said...

Those are some of the most beautiful pears I have ever seen, Heather! What a gorgeous presentation! I will have to make a tranche one of these days. Thanks for sharing the technique:) Have a great weekend!

Amy said...

Oh my, what a beautiful recipe. Love your photography as always. :)

Russell at Chasing Delicious said...

Wow what a beautiful dish! And the recipe sounds super scrumptious! I will definitely have to try this, this fall.

Aimee said...

Oh that looks so fantastic. Beautiful and delicious. Love it!

Sam Henderson said...

Heather, this looks amazing. The photos are lovely. I've just stumbled upon your site for the first time. I see I have lots of catching up to do.

Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking said...

Heather, what a beautiful presentation!!
Your mom sounds exactly like my mother-in-law, a master gardner. I've always enjoyed visiting her because her yard is always so impeccable and her flowers, gorgeous.
I've had my moments, but fortunately, her son (my loving husband) has inherited her horticultural gene.

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Love these pears all tucked into their pastry beds. With chocolate shavings of course!

Barbara | Creative Culinary said...

Absolutely gorgeous; love the puff pastry tranche. Will have to use that idea soon!

Stacey said...

Wow, that's fantastic! I really love this idea - very 'Heston Blumenthal' but infinitely more appealing xx

Ashley@Bakerbynature said...

I am so not a gardener, but I can definitely see me wanting to make this on one of the cold Winter days soon to come. Beautiful photographs.

Mit Kage Eventyr said...

looks great...

Ruth said...

Wow, what a beautiful dessert - I think I will also save the recipe for christmas!

angela@spinachtiger said...

How elegant and yet so earthy for this fall season.

Rochelle said...

Wow. This looks great. Thanks for posting this recipe. Its perfect for Christmas. What chocolate did you use? Plain? A peppermint one would work well.

Neysa said...

I am floored by this blog -- and I look at a lot of food blogs. You are so talented!

Lora said...

So beautiful and perfectly Fall appropriate!

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme said...

A simply beautiful presentation!

Yummy Mummy said...

Gorgeous! I love puff pastry. So easy but so elegant! Lovey dessert!

The Ashton Cruz Zoo said...

Tried this recipe today, ive been poaching pears for years and couldnt wait to try a new way of serving them. Cored them and stuffed them with a delicate lemon curd and goat cheese creme which oozed amazingly when the pears were sliced. My only one problem is, was, that the bottom of the puff pastry came out doughy since the poached pears naturally retain moisture. Will try ths again by cooking the tart seppaate and adding the pears before presenting it unless of course you have a better idea.

Jeri Ann Guth said...

This is just beautiful. Simple and elegant. I can't wait to make it! However, I do not have a serving dish like this. Can you tell me, please, what size it is, and if you can, where to find one. I love yours! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe. jeriannsphoto@aol.com

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