Notes: Asian Pears are circular and have a firm, crisp, texture. Manouri cheese is a rindless, semi-soft, with cream added. It's sweeter and creamier than Feta. You'll need a Mandolin, a pastry brush, One sheet of good quality store bought butter Puff Pastry, one Medium Asian Pear, one Medium Yellow Onion, about one stick of Unsalted Butter, half a Medium/Large Orange, Sugar, 1/4 cup of Manouri Cheese, (or a soft creamy Feta) crumbled, 1 Lemon, fresh Pea Shoots for garnish.
First, pull out a sheet of frozen puff pastry to thaw on your kitchen counter. 2... Caramelize your Onion. Cut Onion into slices. Put a tablespoon of unsalted butter in a medium-hot regular sauce pan, when sizzling, add sliced onions, a pinch of salt, stir to coat onions, spread them out evenly over the pan and let cook. The goal is to gently cook the onions down till blonde-brown, not burnt or blackened. Lower heat to Medium-Low. Add a tablespoon of water, (or chicken stock if you have) that helps them steam a little bit and cook through. Keep an eye on them. The goal is to get them cooked evenly and not stick. They will be ready in a good 25-35 minutes. You can't rush this process. You will have plenty left over but don't worry, they are delicious stored in the fridge and you put them in many other dishes... (I threw some on fried rice, put them in a tomato puree with eggs and baked them in the oven with ricotta.) When done, set aside to cool. 3. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. 4. Unroll puff pastry place sheet, place on a greased baking tray. 5. Scatter caramelized onions evenly over a circular area, don't mound or pile up. 6. Using a Mandolin on setting 2, slice through a skin-on Asian Pear. Get same size middle-pieces, and cut them in half. So they look like half circles. (Store the smaller end-pieces in the fridge to put on cereal, or toss in a salad for another day. Or compost. Do not throw out. Try not to waste anything!) 7. Toss Asian Pear half circles in a little bit of Lemon juice to keep them from browning, while you arrange, then neatly arrange in cylindrical patten on top of the caramelized onions. Don't over-think this, just do it. 8. Put a plate preferably just slightly larger than your cylindrical pattern and cut around pastry leaving a nice circle with a bit of pastry around the edges.
8. Melt half a stick of butter (microwave will do) and using a pastry brush paint over the pear slices and edges of the pastry, being careful not to dislodge arrangement. 9. Place in oven setting a timer for 15 minutes. Check tart after this time, and brush with more butter if it looks dry. Don't forget the pastry edges. Giving them a nice buttery coat will ensure they cook up golden and brown. Leave in for another 6-12 minutes, checking on it regularly till the pear is cooked through and the crust is golden. 10. Meanwhile, squeeze half a medium-large Orange into a heavy-based saucepan. Add a heaped tablespoon of Sugar. Put on low heat and stir till sugar melts. (Keep warm but don't cook. If it cools it will harden.) 11. Using your pastry brush again, glaze tart with sweet Citrus Orange Sugar liquid. Sprinkle with crumbled Manouri Cheese and fresh Pea Shoots and serve immediately. Serves 4 as a snack, 2 as lunch.
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Tart pictured above is made from Asian Pear (from Coopersburg, PA), on a Caramelized Onion base, sprinkled with Manouri Cheese (from Murray's, NY) with Pea Shoots (from Tuscarora Organic Co-Op, Hustontown, PA.) and an Orange Glaze (Navel Oranges from Triple J Organics, Mission, TX) All from my @farmtopeople box delivered fresh last night. ❤