Pear Tart

Pear Tart -- A Pinch of Joy
Pear Tart -- A Pinch of Joy

Wheels found a great deal on pears at the General Store the other day while on a parts run. I like pears but don’t usually think about buying them on my trips to the grocery. So I don’t have a lot of pear recipes – this one for Honey Butter Baked pears and this one for Pear Honey. Just happened to be going through some old cookbooks to choose keepers that evening. The shape of this tart caught my eye and when I saw pears were involved . . . well, those pears in the refrigerator had a focus for my experimentation and tweaking! Actually, foci* – because there was enough to make three pear tarts over the next several days.

Using premade pie crust makes Pie Tart super easy and fast! Making pie crust from scratch is also easy and doesn’t take that much time, so do that if you are so inclined. Flour and sugar in the middle of the crust to absorb the wonderful pear juices. Lemon juice to prevent the pear from browning when exposed to air. I added mine to the glaze, but you can also pour/brush it on the pears before putting the tart into the oven. I peeled the pears (a little hastily as you can tell from the photo). Then sliced them in half and cored them before arranging them. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper so you can lift the entire tart from the pan for cooling. Arrange pear halves in the middle of the pie crust, leaving a couple of inches of crust all the way around. Fold up the edges this way:

Pear Tart Unbaked -- A Pinch of Joy
Make the glaze after you slide the tart in the oven, so the glaze has time to cool and thicken even more. Gently spoon the glaze over the pears just after you take it from the oven, so the fruit absorbs the sweet moisture.

Pear Tart -- Baked A Pinch of Joy

No tips on how to get the tender tart from the parchment paper to serving platter. All of them disappeared before I could try.

Serve warm or cold. Mmm – divine stuff!

* vocabulary bucket list item – use the plural of focus in a totally nonchalant manner. Bonus points for being meaningful. Sort of.

Pear Tart
Cook time
Total time
Firm deeply flavored pears in a tender crust, sweetened just enough by a simple glaze.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 piecrust
  • 3 medium or 4 small pears, halved and cored.
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 375. If using baking sheet for free form tart, prepare by lining it with parchment paper. Can also use pie pan, tart pan or cheesecake pan.
  2. Place pie crust in pan.
  3. Mix ⅓ cup sugar and flour together in center of piecrust and spread over evenly over bottom of crust. For free form, spread to within 2 inches of the edge.
  4. Arrange pears halves as desired. Pears may also be sliced and arranged in rows or circles or simply spread evenly over crust.
  5. Fold crust up for free form. Crimp crust if in pan.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until pears are tender and crust is golden brown.
  7. In meantime, prepare glaze. Bring sugar, water and lemon juice to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer gently, until slightly thickened about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and let set until pears are done.
  8. Remove tart from oven and place on rack to cool. Spoon glaze evenly over tart.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Thin Crust Fresh Veggie Pizza

Thin Crust Fresh Veggie Pizza -- A Pinch of Joy
Thin Crust Fresh Veggie Pizza -- A Pinch of Joy

Appetizers like this Fresh Veggie Pizza are often associated with football. In our neighborhood,  you can always tell when the state college team is playing.  If it’s a home game, the neighborhood is forlorn because everybody is downtown in the stands.  If it’s televised, the suburban quiet is punctuated by roars from living rooms and garages painted in team colors.  Today fans are celebrating a national championship.  (Guess what colors those garage walls are painted!)

Whenever football is played, tables are laden with food.  All kinds of food.  To sustain the spectators who are putting so much of themselves into coaching, replaying and predicting the game.  To soothe the wounds when the coach (one who actually gets paid), the player on the field, or the insert adjective referees  don’t meet expectations.  To give ordinary people a safety zone from enthusiastic fans who suddenly leap up, shouting and waving their arms.  

I’m here to make the case that appetizers can be eaten on other occasions.  A light supper.  A holiday party.  A gathering of friends just to catch up.  Celebration of a life milestone.  Watching a chick flick.  Or reading an adventure series – just remember to keep one digit clean to advance the e-reader page. Whenever you want, really.   A light, semi healthy appetizer like Fresh Veggie Pizza is a good start for diversifying your appetizer habits!  Bake the crust and prep the veggies ahead of time.  Assembly is a snap and gives you a stunning burst of color to carry to the table.  You can even shape the crust like a football the first couple of times you make it – just while you make the difficult transition to realizing appetizers can be eaten for other events. 
Thin Crust Fresh Veggie Pizza
Cook time
Total time
Fresh vegetables atop crispy crust and creamy base provide a burst of color and nutrition for your appetizer table!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 32
  • 2 cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh veggies – approximately ⅓ cup each of the following:
  • Broccoli florets, chopped coarsely
  • Cucumber slices, quartered
  • Roma or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Shredded carrot
  • Green, red and/or yellow peppers, diced
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons bacon pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Unroll crescent dough on center of ungreased 10x15 baking sheet Press dough thinly without tearing, to cover bottom and side of sheet forming crust.
  3. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until golden. Cool.
  4. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, dill, garlic and Italian seasoning until smooth.
  5. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled crust.
  6. Top with vegetables and bacon, sprinkling each on evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Can serve immediately, but best if refrigerated for an hour before serving.

Elegant Eggnog

Elegant Eggnog -- A Pinch of Joy
Elegant Eggnog -- A Pinch of Joy

Eggnog is a perfect drink with it’s richness and creamy spiced flavor. It was a special treat at our house for a couple of weeks around Christmas each year. Wheels especially likes it. And then – carb counting entered the picture. At 35 carbs and 340 calories per serving, eggnog fell off the radar.   Normally we use don’t use artificial sweeteners – mostly from personal preference. But when I saw this recipe came in at 9 carbs and 100 calories for a four ounce serving, it immediately popped to the top of my “gotta try this file”.   You know — that messy, horizontal stack of papers by the computer that grows higher and higher.

It is truly an elegant drink. Everything you want in an eggnog – smooth, creamy, great flavor. If carb counts are not part of your life, you can substitute granulated sugar for the sweetener in the same amount. Use a candy thermometer to make sure the mixture reaches 175 degrees.  Making eggnog is not as easy as opening a container from the dairy case – but almost! And the taste is waaaay better. And so are the nutrition numbers. The celebration is back in Christmas!

Want cookies to go with the eggnog? Twelve days of Christmas Cookies may have just the one you need!

(Recipe from Splenda. By the way, no compensation – Splenda has never heard of me!)

Elegant Eggnog
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 15 servings ½ cup each
  • 1 cup granulated Splenda
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum/serving optional
  1. Mix together Splenda, cornstarch and nutmeg in heavy saucepan.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and add to ingredients in saucepan and whisk until blended.
  3. Add milk slowly whole stirring constantly.
  4. Cook over low heat, whisking continually until temperature reaches 175 F, about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and blend in half and half; cool mixture.
  6. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Add vanilla extract just before serving.
  7. Eggnog will keep 3 days in refrigerator.

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!

Subscribe:  email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook RSS feed  / bloglovin’ /   twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   Share: if you found this helpful or inspiring please click one of the buttons below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is appreciated

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