Holiday Cream Cheese Pear Tart

This year I received a lovely Harry and David gift basket from a vendor with a bunch of fresh pears.  I love pears, but we had so many I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them!  I decided to contribute to our family Christmas brunch with a fun holiday pear tart!

After searching through a million Pinterest recipes, I settled on a hybrid of recipes from 365 Days of Baking and Food Network (with my own holiday twist :))

Here is the recipe:

Cream Cheese Pear Tart

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 3 medium pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Tbl lemon juice
  • 1 Tbl plus 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbl brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional topping: honey and sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Prepare the cream cheese filling by combining the cream cheese, one egg, and the almond extract until smooth.  Set aside

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  • Prepare the pear topping by combining your sliced pears, lemon juice, cornstarch, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Set aside
  • Beat the remaining egg into a bowl and set aside for the egg wash

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  • Spread-out the puff pastry sheets, setting one on top of the other.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into the shape of a Christmas tree (or if you aren’t doing this for Christmas, I would cut the sheets in half, length-wise making two pastries).

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  • With the remaining puff pastry sheet, cut two stars using a cookie cutter
  • Set one sheet aside, and cover one of the sheets with your cream cheese filling, leaving 1/2 inch or so along the eges

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  • Place the second sheet on top, and gently press/fold the edges creating a pocket for the topping, together then top with the egg wash
    *Note you can make smaller tarts with any remaining dough/filling/topping so you don’t waste!  You can also cut-out more stars, etc. to put on top of the tart to add to the presentation
  • Finally top the tart with the pear mixture.  Sprinkle some sugar/drizzle some honey over the tart (optional), and bake around 20 minutes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet until the tart is flaky and slightly browned.
  • Viola, you have a lovely Christmas tart!

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I adapted the tart to make it festive, but you could easily re-create our Christmas brunch for any winter occasion (menu below)!

  • Ham (a Christmas staple)
  • Mini Egg Quiches (similar to this recipe from Kitchen Snaps)
  • a Winter Fruit Salad (similar to this recipe from Bloglovin)
  • And of course the fixings for Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas!

I hope you enjoyed your holiday celebrations!

Megan

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