Hello, my garlic loving friends! The Great British Bake Off with the god of bread Paul Hollywood and the goddess of cakes Mary Berry, and the season of new, exiting recipes by closet bakers like myself is on!
Ready? Steady? Bake!
If you thought that garlic cannot be used in a dessert, think again!
Here come my caramelised garlic and pear tartlets! 🙂
Caramelised garlic and pear tartlets in lovely, crispy, light puff pastry shells are a delightful surprise. The harmony of brown sugar dulcified garlic and rich, juicy pear brought a big, wide smile on my face when I tried them for the first time – still hot and straight from the oven! Naughty girl!
And then I thought to myself: “They’ll think I’m crazy!”
Caramelised garlic and pear tartlets and a cup of coffee
You see, I am not really a dessert person. What I mean by that is that I just can’t manage a full portion of something sweet after 2 savoury courses, which these days seem to get bigger and bigger. Having said that, I almost always squeeze “…and two spoons!” to my partner’s dessert order in a restaurant, so I can too …cleanse the pallet 😉 (Nope. He is never happy about that. But waiters always listen to me!)
Anyway, a delicate sorbet, fruit or a small, puff pastry tart is more like me in the sense of a dessert. That’s why a nice cup of coffee with the caramelised garlic and pear tartlet would be my, one-spoon choice instead of a slice of chocolate cake, bread and butter or sticky toffee pudding etc., at the end of a meal.
Don’t get me wrong, I like sweet, rich and full flavours, but in small doses. That’s why I put the filling of caramelised garlic and pear tartlets in a puff pastry shell, which adds to lightness of these little tartlets.
Pear and caramelised in sugar garlic, together with thyme, have lots of depth, which goes beyond the sweetness. There is a level of savoury taste to the tartlets coming from the garlic. However, the syroupy brown sugar sauce connects with the pear and the balance of these three is what keeps the caramelised garlic and pear tartlets in a sweet bay.
A friend commented after trying my caramelised garlic and pear tartlets, that “this is a matter of an acquired taste” and I couldn’t agree more! It is difficult to imagine caramelised garlic and pear in combination and it might not be everybody’s cup of tea. I love them though and I think this recipe is worth sharing.
If you enjoyed this uncommon flavour look up Pineapple-Garlic Upside Down Cake. I haven’t tested it yet, but it seems popular and liked.
I look forward to your comments!
- 20 fresh garlic cloves - peeled
- 2 fresh, not too ripe pears - peeled, core discarded
- 2 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
- 2 heap spoons brown sugar
- 2 fresh strings thyme
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 175C.
- Roll your puff pastry sheet out to 3 mm thickness and either place it in (gently coated with olive oil) 6 tartlet forms or simply cut the pastry to 4” by 4” squares and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate your portioned puff pastry while you make the caramelised garlic and pear tartlets filling.
- Place halved garlic cloves in a small pan, cover with water, bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. This will soften the garlic cloves and take the sharp pungent flavour away.
- Drain the water and using the same pan add vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and 2 tablespoon of water to the garlic. Simmer it all slowly until the liquid becomes syroupy. Add roughly chopped pears, mix well and remove this ready filling from the heat. Let it cool to room temperature.
- Distribute the filling evenly onto the top of portioned puff pastry. If you are not using metal tartlet forms place the filling in the centre of portioned pastry pieces so there is about ¾ inch of a clear edge all arround). Bake the tartlets in 175C for 35 min.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving. Store refrigerated for up to 36h.