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Chocolate Pear Tartelettes

November 19, 2010

These were inspired by something Graham spotted in a nearby boulangerie window display.

What Graham saw was a full-sized tart containing a thick layer of chocolate covered with pear slices. Neither of us had had a pear-chocolate combination before, so we wanted to see how we liked it.

Like I’ve mentioned before, we don’t have a tart pan. So, instead of making a full-size tart, I decided to make mini “rustic” tarts–tartelettes!

Although there are a few steps to putting these together, none of them are very difficult or time-consuming. And, if you don’t want tartelettes, you could use this method to make a full-sized rustic tart (a tart not baked in a pan, but with a crust made by folding the outer edges of the dough partially over the filling). I still need to work on this–when I began to bake these, the edges began to unfurl as the dough got hotter. This tells me that I need to more forcefully press the dough folds together before baking.

Also, if you follow the recipe below, you end up with a little extra pear filling.

Here’s how to make them.

Chocolate Pear Tartelettes (makes 8 tartelettes)

Ingredients:

-1 C flour
-2 Tbsp sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-4 Tbsp coconut oil, chilled and chopped into marble-sized chunks
-4 Tbsp very cold water
-2 Tbsp milk (I used oat–you could also just use 2 more Tbsp cold water)
-1 pear, chopped
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 1/2 tsp corn starch
-1 heaped Tbsp brown sugar
-6-7 Tbsp of chocolate chunks (10 small squares of chocolate)
-1/4 C milk (again, I used oat)
-extra sugar for sprinkling

Method:

1. First the dough. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the chunks of coconut oil, and cut them into the flour. I do this by mushing the chunks into the flour with a fork. You could also use a pastry-cutter, a food-processor, or the “two knives” method–but I have no idea what the “two knives” method actually involves.

2. Mix together the cold water and 2 Tbsp of milk (if using). Gradually add the water/milk mixture to the dough as you mix it in with a fork.

3. Once the water is incorporated into the dough and the dough is sufficiently sticky, form it into a ball (I used used my hands), wrap it in plastic, and let it refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

4. While the dough is chilling, make the pear filling. I used about this many pear slices

which turned out to be too many. But that just means I ended up with extra pear-filling, which isn’t so bad.

You put the pears in a bowl, and sprinkle on the lemon juice, corn starch, and brown sugar. Mix all of that together until the sugar mixture is evenly distributed over the pears.

5. Now for the chocolate. I made a thick chocolate ganache by heating the 1/4 C oat milk in a pan, turning off the heat, and then adding in the chocolate chunks. You can then stir the chocolate around until it’s melted in. The final consistency should be similar to the really thick chocolate fudge you might get on an ice cream sunday. (If it’s too runny, melt in more chocolate.)

6. Now you can assemble! (At this point, you’ll want to preheat your oven to about 190 C.) Take the dough out of the refrigerator, and chop it into eighths (chop the ball in half, then chop the halves in half, and then chop the quarters in half). Take each piece and, on a lightly floured surface, press them into little circles. Line your baking pan with parchment paper, and transfer the dough circles onto the lined pan. (I’m using a toaster oven, so I can only make 4 at a time. This means I’ll be making the next 4 on Saturday morning!)

Now take a spoonful of the ganache, and plop it into the center of each circle.

And now you can also plop some pears on top of the chocolate.

Now here’s the one tricky part. Carefully fold up the outer periphery of the dough partially over the filling, pressing the dough folds together so that they maintain their shape while baking.

This is what I really could have done better. They looked fine before going in the oven, but I didn’t press the folds forcefully enough. As a result, they came a little undone.

Finally, sprinkle some sugar on top of the filling.

7. Bake for about 20 minutes in your oven, until the pear looks cooked and the crust is a little golden.

These are delicious. First of all, I think that this pie-style crust is the best I’ve made yet. It will now be my go-to quiche crust (although with less or no sugar). It was flaky and wonderful.

Also, pears and chocolate go well together! Well, with all that dark chocolate, the pears are a little overwhelmed, but they contribute a little bit of pear flavor and a pleasant amount of tartness.

You could fill these with just about anything. You could replace the pears with other kinds of chopped fruit, you could leave out the chocolate, you could substitute some other sort of custard for the chocolate, you could do chocolate swirled with sweetened peanut butter, you could fill the pastry with your favorite vegan quiche filling, you could fill them with grilled vegetables, you could fill them with vegan spinach-artichoke dip, or with vegan chickpea “tuna” salad… endless options.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2010 6:15 pm

    Those look AMAZING! I’m bookmarking this recipe & I can’t wait to try it.

    • November 20, 2010 8:40 am

      Let me know how it turns out! Maybe you’ll be able to do a better job of preventing yours from unfurling while baking. (:

  2. Mary Bosch permalink
    November 19, 2010 6:20 pm

    Spectacular!

  3. November 20, 2010 2:45 am

    Really beautiful. I also like the ingredients you used! Merci.

  4. November 20, 2010 7:52 am

    Those boulangerie windows are very inspiring indeed! I realized that when I was in Paris. I took pictures of some rhubarb tarts. Your tartelettes look really wonderful. I like the idea of a chocolate filling.

    • November 20, 2010 8:41 am

      Well, I have no hope of making anything as perfect-looking as the sweets in the patisseries. I”ll just have to call my baking “rustic.” (:

  5. rebekarussell permalink
    February 9, 2011 10:41 pm

    MMMMMMMMM. Am going to try making these this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!

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