Yes, you read that right, these are sweet caramel pear tarts flavored with fresh tarragon! The herb works perfectly with the sweet fruit and caramel sauce.
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Here’s how this recipe came about: I have come across tarragon in dessert dishes a few times now, once in a restaurant (where my friend had a sweet tarragon tart that accompanied a sorbet) and several times in various trendy food magazines but I had never used it in a dessert dish myself. Then the other day I made caramel pear tarts and was really struck by how boring and usual their flavor was. Into my head popped tarragon! Its liquorice-like flavor would really liven up these tarts, I thought to myself, so I made another batch and baked some chopped, fresh tarragon into it. It turned out wonderfully, all the flavors complemented each other perfectly and the tarragon added something new and exciting. Definitely a winner in my book, I hope you like it too! :)
Tarragon and Caramel Pear Tarts Recipe
For the tarts:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 firm Seckel pears, peeled, cored and cut in half (you’ll need only 9 halves for this recipe, I suggest you eat the 10th as a snack)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
- caramel sauce
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a pan, then add the pear halves and cook until tender.
- Mix cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl, then sprinkle over the pears.
- Sprinkle 9 small mounds of tarragon onto the the puff pastry sheet, then set the pear halves on top of them.
- Cut the puff pastry into 9 squares so that one pear half is sitting in the center of each square.
- Bake the tarts until they are golden-brown (20-25 minutes).
- Drizzle or brush with caramel sauce.
Food Photography and Styling: Since the tarragon is the special twist in this recipe I wanted to be sure to show it so instead of photographing the whole tarts from an overhead perspective (which looked quite nice) I cut the tarts open and showed one of them from the side with the tarragon filling visible. I had meant for the creamer to be the vessel that held the caramel sauce but the sauce looked very dark in it, so I emptied it and figured it could be filled with milk for the tea instead. The “tablecloth” is a large linen napkin (isn’t it amazing how large some napkins are? This thing could cover my entire upper body!) and I thought its color worked great with the brown of the tarts. I used my strobe to light the set.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/8, 1/125 sec., ISO 200. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight.