Sweet pears, creamy goat cheese and a bit of apricot jam combine for a fabulous spin on the bearclaw. And there’s no need to overexert yourself. Pre-made pastry dough makes preparation a cinch. Serve this decadent treat alongside a glass of vino or a fresh mimosa for a deliciously refreshing brunch that’s as yummy as it is simple. Make this dish a bit sweeter with a dollop of whipped cream if you so desire. While we adore the pear version, feel free to experiment with different fruits in order to create a variety of yummy tarts that will keep your guests consistenly running back for more.
1 piece store-bought frozen puff pastry, defrosted according to package directions
1 1/2 cups ruby port
1 (4-ounce) log mild goat cheese
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 firm-ripe pears, cored and sliced as thinly as possible
2 tablespoons apricot jam
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line baking sheet with some parchment paper.
Using a lightly floured work surface, roll puff pastry sheet to a 1/4 and 1/8-inch thickness. Use a plate or other round template as a guide to cut pastry into a 12-inch circle. Refrigerate as you prepare the other toppings.
Combine currants and port into a small nonreactive bowl, then set aside to allow currants to plump for a minimum of 20 minutes.
Using a food processor, or hand mixer, combine goat cheese with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, then mix until smooth. Drain currants from the port into a small saucepan then reduce the port to about 1/4 cup. Reserve port reduction for serving.
Place puff pastry circle onto lined baking sheet, then spread goat cheese mixture over the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border around edges. Sprinkle currants over goat cheese; arrange pear slices evenly over the goat cheese, overlapping slices to form a fanned out pattern. Combine apricot jam with a small amount of water; Melt jam using a small saucepan or microwave. Brush tart with apricot jam, then sprinkle with dark brown sugar.
Bake tart until the pastry is golden brown on the bottom and sides, which will usually take 25 to 30 minutes. Remove tart from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve tart at room temperature, then drizzle with some of the port reduction.
Photo: Serious Eats