Pomegranate-Pear Tarts + Nambé GIVEAWAY

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts

If you are anything like me, you’re still finalizing what dishes you’ll be making for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I’ve got the desserts squared away but still need to commit to an appetizer or two……Baked Brie? Cheesy Mushroom Bread? Oh, the options…

But if you are in need of a dessert to wow your guests, you must try out these beautiful Pomegranate-Pear Tarts.

Pomegranate-Pear Tarts

You can use whatever types of pears you like but I find that either Bartletts or Anjous work out best. I also put a light honey-glaze to provide a little bit of sweetness and a sheen. As for the pomegranates, they added a great freshness and crunchy texture while giving a bit of tart flavor. Alternatively, you can sprinkle the tops with crushed pistachios.

Not only are these tarts eye-catching and delicious but they only take a few minutes to put together! Perfect for holiday entertaining when I always seem like I’m racing the clock.

And since this is a time for giving Thanks….our amazing friends at Nambe are giving us a chance to say THANK YOU to our readers with a giveaway!

One reader will have the chance to win this gorgeous Handled Tray !

How to Enter: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED…Thanks!

Leave a comment and tell us what the first thing you’ll serve using the Nambe Handled Tray

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The deadline to enter is Monday, November 26th at 5pm (PST) and the winner will be announced the next day.

THANKS so much Nambé and HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!

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Pomegranate-Pear Tarts
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Bartlett or Bosc Pears, cored and sliced lengthwise to 1/8 inch width
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon warm water
¼ cup pomegranate arils
fresh whipped cream or ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the puff pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut the sheet into 4 equal squares.

Transfer the puff pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving ample space in between each square.

Leaving a ½ inch border of the puff pastry around each square, shingle the pear slices so that all 4 pieces have been covered. Gently fold over the dough on each side of the squares and pinch the corners to seal.

In a small bowl, mix the honey and water together until combined. Brush the tops of the pear slices with the honey glaze. Transfer the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking.

Remove the tarts from the oven and cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the tarts with the pomegranate arils and serve immediately with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Spiced Pear Cake for National Bundt Day

Spiced Pear Cake

 

Was it a coincidence or luck? Perhaps a little bit of both was on our side this weekend as my nieces and I prepared a delicious spiced pear cake using a bundt pan. And to my amusement as I was drafting up this post, I discovered that today is National Bundt Day!

This is the time of year when I bust out all of the warm spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc) and begin feverishly baking molasses cookies, gingerbreads, and other spiced desserts. YUM. I just love the aromatics and the deep warmth it brings to your home/kitchen when you’re creating such delights.

Since pears are in season and were in abundance at the market, I picked up a few Boschs with the intention of creating a cake that would be great for breakfast. (Cake for all times of the day, I say!) I also took the opportunity to try out this recipe with my nieces, Nina and Stephanie. They are turning out to be quite the whizzes in the kitchen and have refined palates for their age. And in truth, they did most of the work with this cake with me just guiding them through the process. I’m a proud Auntie.

The end results were just what I was hoping for. An extremely moist cake speckled with diced pears and perfumed with warm spices. Perfect with a huge cup of steaming coffee in the morning. With breakfasts like these (and wonderful nieces), perhaps I’ll make it through the chilly season after all.

And with that dear friends, rummage through your pantries to whip out those wreath-like pans—Celebrate National Bundt Day! (I know, I know….I’m a sucker for any “holiday” :) )


Stephanie and Nina hard at work…..Great things will come out of their kitchens in the future :)

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Spiced Pear Cake
Approximately 10 servings

Ingredients:

Cake Batter
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
¼ Cup Molasses
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs
3 Cups Diced Pear

Glaze
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
¼ Cup Water or Apple Juice
1 Cup Confectioner Sugar
½ Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease a large bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and granulated sugar. Mix in brown sugar, breaking up any clumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and mix in oil, eggs, vanilla extract and molasses. The batter will be quite thick. Fold in the diced pears being careful to not break up the fruit too much.

Spoon the cake batter into the greased bundt pan and spread the mixture evenly. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes before inverting on to a plate.

While cake is cooling, prepare glaze. Melt butter and slowly add confectioner sugar and cinnamon. Add apple juice (or water) and mix until combined. Strain the glaze to remove any potential lumps. Slowly pour over the cake while its still warm.

Gingerbread-Pear Cupcakes

I’ve already confessed by Gingerbread obsession. :) So, when a recent holiday feast left us with some delicious Poached Pear leftovers, I seized the opportunity to kick up a favorite holiday goodie.

I chose to adapt Martha Stewart’s recipe for Gingerbread Cupcakes. Her version has such a wonderful spicy flavor with a moist cake that I knew would be the perfect match to the pears. However, since her recipe is scaled for “jumbo cupcakes”, I needed to tweak the measurements a bit.

The end results were absolutely delicious—-personally, my favorite cupcake of the year. :) And for those who prefer to scale down the sweet factor, swap out my cream cheese frosting for a light dusting of confectioner sugar.

These “Cuppies” will definitely be added to my Holiday Baking Rotation—though maybe next time I’ll use a Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting as opposed to the standard Cream Cheese. After all, it is the holidays!

Enjoy!!!

Gingerbread-Pear Cupcakes © Photo rights reserved.

Sneak Peak of the Pears © Photo rights reserved.

Poached Pears © Photo rights reserved.

 

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Gingerbread-Pear Cupcakes
Makes 12 Cupcakes
The Gingerbread Cupcake Batter was adapted from Martha Stewart’s “Gingerbread Cupcake Recipe” to accommodate a half batch and regular cupcake size.

Ingredients:

Cupcake Batter
1 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1¼ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
¾ Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter at room temperature
½ Cup Packed Dark-Brown Sugar
½ Cup Unsulphered Molasses
1 Large Egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
1½ Diced Poached Pears

Poached Pears
3 Bosc Pears (peeled, cored, halved)
1 Whole Cinnamon Stick
5-6 Allspice Corns
5-6 Whole Cloves
1 Vanilla Bean, split with seeds scraped
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Cups White Wine

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 Ounces of Cream Cheese at room temperature
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter at room temperature
2½ -3 Cups Confectioner Sugar (varies due to preferred frosting consistency)
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized saucepan, combine ingredients for poached pears with the exception of the pears. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add pears. Bring liquid to a rolling boil and lower to a light simmer. Cook pears until fork tender. Remove from heat and thoroughly cool. Once cooled, remove pears from poaching liquid and pat dry. Dice pears in small cubes.

In another small saucepan, bring ½ cup water to a boil. In a bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light. Beat in the brown sugar until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Beat in the egg. Carefully fold in the diced pears.

Fill prepared cupcake pans lined with paper cups three-quarters full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in the pans on wire racks.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add vanilla and then gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time. Continue adding sugar to desire consistency. (I typically lean towards the full 3 cups for a firmer consistency to pipe the frosting). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before use.

Once cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with prepared Cream Cheese frosting. Cupcakes can be stored up to three days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Note: Remaining Poached Pears can serve as a light and delicious dessert. Serve with a zabaglione or whipped cream. When storing in the refrigerator, keep pears in poaching liquid to add to the flavor and moistness.