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 6×12 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.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

This just looks so elegant.
Saving it for Christmas. 🙂

Louise, Raspberries In Winter
Louise, Raspberries In Winter
9 years ago

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

Sara
Sara
9 years ago

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

Maia
Maia
9 years ago

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

Lili
Lili
9 years ago

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

Paula
Paula
9 years ago

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

Elizabeth Ann @ Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box
Elizabeth Ann @ Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box
9 years ago

These are beautiful! 🙂 I can't wait to make them! 🙂

Julie
Julie
9 years ago

So gorgeous!

Mel
Mel
9 years ago

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

Jessica @ How Sweet
Jessica @ How Sweet
9 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

That looks so lovely.

Heather (Heather's Dish)
Heather (Heather's Dish)
9 years ago

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

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
9 years ago

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

Cheers,

Rosa

Yasmeen
Yasmeen
9 years ago

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
amanda @ fake ginger
9 years ago

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

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

Yum! This is so tasty looking! Beautiful photos!

Taste Melanger
Taste Melanger
9 years ago

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

Megan
Megan
9 years ago

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
Deborah
9 years ago

That is seriously beautiful!!

Lauren Hairston
Lauren Hairston
9 years ago

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
Nicole
9 years ago

so pretty & elegant! i love the pictures!

Divya Yadava
Divya Yadava
9 years ago

Very festive looking! Love it.

Sandra
Sandra
9 years ago

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

Mari Nuñez
Mari Nuñez
9 years ago

Beautiful presentation!! I am sure it is tasty!

Jennifer (Delicieux)
Jennifer (Delicieux)
9 years ago

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
tartedujour
9 years ago

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

Sue
Sue
9 years ago

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
Amy
9 years ago

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

Russell at Chasing Delicious
Russell at Chasing Delicious
9 years ago

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

Michael
Michael
9 years ago

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

Sam Henderson
Sam Henderson
9 years ago

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.

365daysofbaking
365daysofbaking
9 years ago

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}
marla {family fresh cooking}
9 years ago

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

Barbara | Creative Culinary
Barbara | Creative Culinary
9 years ago

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

Stacey @ bakercourt
Stacey @ bakercourt
9 years ago

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

Ashley@Bakerbynature
Ashley@Bakerbynature
9 years ago

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
Mit Kage Eventyr
9 years ago

looks great…

Ruth
Ruth
9 years ago

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

angela@spinachtiger
angela@spinachtiger
9 years ago

How elegant and yet so earthy for this fall season.

Rochelle
Rochelle
9 years ago

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
Neysa
9 years ago

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

Lora
Lora
9 years ago

So beautiful and perfectly Fall appropriate!

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme
Lana @ Never Enough Thyme
9 years ago

A simply beautiful presentation!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

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

The Ashton Cruz Zoo
The Ashton Cruz Zoo
9 years ago

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.

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

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