Pear, Cheddar, and Caramelized Onion Tart

Pear, Cheddar, and Caramelized Onion Tart (c) 2012 La Domestique

I’ve been busy in the test kitchen developing holiday entertaining recipes for a client, and today I’d like to share a savory tart with you. The components can be prepared ahead of time (the pastry pre-baked), later assembled and baked just before serving. High-quality puff pastry can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store, and bakes up into a flaky, buttery tart base. The toppings are a combination of four autumnal ingredients: slow-cooked caramelized onions for rich sweetness, thyme contributes a woodsy note, and Bosc pears, a baking fruit with crisp, juicy texture, combine beautifully with the nutty, sharp flavor of aged cheddar. Slice the tart into squares and serve it at casual gatherings with cocktails, beers, or mulled wine. It’s a delicious small bite that “tastes like more” as the husband would say.

. READ MORE...

Cook in the Moment: Chocolate Pear Tart

Bartlett Pears from the Boulder Farmer's Market (c) La Domestique

I’ve always loved apples. Come the first day of fall I’m dreaming of apple pie, apple butter, and warm apple cider spiked with brandy. The German in me loves applesauce with sausage. Don’t forget apple turnovers for breakfast and apple cider doughnuts! I liked pears, but never gave them much thought, until I came across this post on pears by Sarah at The Yellow House blog. Photos of the sun drenched pear orchard drew me in and her simple pear pie with a dark wheaty crust sealed the deal – I felt a sudden longing for pears.

Reading Nigel Slater’s book, Ripe, made me realize that appreciating this delicate fruit requires slowing down and spending the time to really get to know the pear. He writes,

“From the family Rosaccae, which includes meadowsweet, brambles, hawthorn, and quince, members of the Pyrus genus possess a sophistication that can only be dreamed of by the apple, with extraordinarily subtle hints of wine, rose, honey, and nuts. Occasionally you might detect a note of musk or a distant breath of aniseed. The apple has these too, but more obvious and upfront.”

. READ MORE...