pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb. – Mary Oliver

pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog

Pear Tarts with Honey-Bourbon Crème Fraîche
Inspired by Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts

I did use homemade puff pastry here, which I highly recommend. Store bought will work fine, but the taste of homemade is far superior. I used the recipe from Sarabeth’s Bakery, an excellent cookbook. I didn’t peel my pears, but if you aren’t crazy about the skin, feel free to do so. You could also make this into a large tart – just keep it in a 12 inch square and don’t cut into rectangles. A 1-inch border would also be nice on a larger tart, however, you will probably need more pears. And, the honey-bourbon crème fraîche really makes this. If you can’t find crème fraîche, I’ve found sour cream to be a good substitute.

1 sheet of puff pastry
3-4 Bartlet pears, sliced thin
egg wash (one egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoons water and a pinch of salt)
sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lightly flour your work space, and roll the puff pastry out to a 12 inch square, trimming if needed. Cut the dough into twelve 3-by-4 inch rectangles. Transfer the rectangles to the prepared baking sheets. Line the rectangles with pear slices, overlapping them slightly, about 5-6 per rectangle. Brush any exposed edges with the egg wash, and sprinkle the tarts with sugar (1-2 tablespoons altogether). Bake the tarts until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Serve with crème fraîche (recipe follows).

crème fraîche with honey and bourbon

1 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon bourbon

Mix all three ingredients together. If the crème fraîche seems a bit too ‘loose’, chill for 20 minutes before serving.
pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog

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21 Responses to pear tarts with honey-bourbon crème fraîche

  1. Sarah says:

    That is an incredibly insightful quote – I love it when I read something that resonates so perfectly with how I feel. Thank you for sharing it, and these beautiful light-filled pictures and tarts!

  2. Oh how beautiful, you always have the most amazing quotes. “Joy is not made to be a crumb.” LOVE that. Love that close up shot of the fingers sprinkling (is that a macro shot? just curious). And those big, deep eyes of the little one you belong to, very beautiful. (PS: I really need to try my hand at homemade puff pastry, though I am totally intimidated).

  3. Hannah says:

    Your photographs are absolutely beautiful!

  4. Simply beautiful photos and I adore that quote. I make something very similar with slices of apple – so simple and delicious and the bourbon creme fraiche just tops it off!

  5. Kathryn says:

    That last picture is just captivating (as are your other images of course). So very lovely.

  6. This looks absolutely gorgeous. I’m in the middle of a creme fraiche obsession at the moment, so I love the way you’ve paired it with the tarts. & I totally agree that homemade puff is far superior.

  7. Love everything about this post xx

  8. Anna says:

    “Joy is not made to be a crumb” I love that!

  9. Oh, I heart everything about this recipe. So lovely!

  10. Kathryne says:

    I needed to hear that quote today, Sarah. Thank you. These pastries look so deliciously simple and I love that you made your own puff pastry!

  11. amy c says:

    I am in awe of your photography. It’s stunning.

  12. These are just stunning, your photos are beautiful. I love the simplicity of these tarts and the bourbon creme fraiche sounds like such a good idea!

  13. Laura says:

    Yes! Joy IS made to be everything. It is pure light, it is immersive and cannot be fought. This quote is lovely, but your posts remind us of those very facts every week. As ever (and always), I’m so grateful to visit this space and have a few moments in your world ?

  14. Emily says:

    Truly lovely, Sarah. Both the tarts and the quotes, but especially the quote. It is definitely something we all need to be reminded of. Thank you.

  15. Sacha says:

    Such simple beauty–butter, pear, crème fraîche. This is my kind of dessert. You know my love for homemade puff pastry, and it’s the perfect paste for just about anything. That crème fraîche must be dangerous! I can see myself eating it off of the spoon.

  16. Kris says:

    The picture! The one of the sprinkling of the sugar (or flour) is captivating and beautiful and magical. I am so pulled in to this moment!

  17. Zoe says:

    These are some of your loveliest photos to date. Nice work.

  18. Pam says:

    Love this blog, recipe & insights. Thank you you so much.

  19. Just gorgeous! Love your blog

  20. […] by pear tarts with honey bourbon creme fraiche on The Vanilla Bean Blog. Sugar syrup based on this baklava […]

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