These here tarts were definitely an oops. Here’s how it happened:
AJ’s mom recently made these delicious plum tarts that were super simple, and required just 4 ingredients: puff pastry, plums, honey, and sugar.
First she sent me a picture of one, and then served them again when we visited them in Tahoe earlier this summer. I was in love, and decided I needed to share them with you guys!
A few weeks weeks went by before I remembered to buy the puff pastry at the store, then another couple weeks went by as it sat in the freezer, and then sat in the fridge for a while after I defrosted it but failed to bake with it right away.
Then, finally, when AJ’s parents came into town last weekend, we were flipping through an issue of Bon Appetit magazine and we saw the recipe! My package of puff pastry had been in the fridge for a while, but I figured I could still whip something up with what we had on hand.
As I pulled the puff pastry out of the fridge, Kathy noticed that it was not in fact puff pastry, but rather, phyllo dough. Cue: sound of a deflating balloon.
For those of you who don’t know, puff pastry is kind of like pie dough and gets, well, puffy when you bake it. It’s a type of laminated dough, which means layers of fat have been folded into it.
Phyllo (or filo, or fillo – however you want to transliterate it from Greek to English seems to work!) is generally sold in the same freezer case as puff pastry, but it is entirely different. Phyllo is a bunch of super thin sheets of dough made without fat, and it is generally used to make baklava.
So anyway, the oven was already on and I was on a mission. We forged ahead on our little baking adventure with some ripe pears, vegan margarine, and my previously misidentified phyllo dough.
And my, oh my did they turn out well!
Just 15 minutes in the oven turns these mini pastries into crispy, crackly bites of yum. The pears are just cooked enough to soften and sweeten them, but not enough to turn them into mush. And just a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a tad of honey, rounds the whole thing out.
If you really want to take these over the top, serve them with ice cream. Holy shmoly. Best dessert I’ve had in a long time. And all in about 25 minutes.
These are definitely the best the day that you bake them, but you can get away with microwaving them for about 15-20 seconds a couple days later. They aren’t quite the same, but they’re tasty nonetheless.
Oh yeah, and did I mention these are vegan, with the exception of the honey? Win! Most premade puff pastry and phyllo doughs use canola oil instead of butter (it’s cheaper, yo) and so they just happen to be completely dairy free.
When you combine either of them with simple ingredients like fruit and honey, and brush them with a little Earth Balance margarine, you’ve got a delicious dessert on your hands. Ta-da! To make it completely vegan, feel free to substitute the honey with agave syrup if that’s your preference.
I may or may not have eaten these again for breakfast, too. Don’t judge.Print
Traditional fruit tarts get a twist using phyllo dough and pears. Just 15 minutes in the oven yields these delicious treats, excellent at any time of year when fresh fruit is available. Gently spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and lightly sweetened with honey.
- 4 large ripe pears
- 1/4 cup honey or agave syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 package (8 oz) phyllo dough, thawed
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine, melted (I used Earth Balance)
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Core and slice the pears. Don’t cut them too thin, or they will soften too much during baking. Place in a large bowl and gently toss with the honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Lay the stack of phyllo sheets on a large cutting board. Cut into 12 squares with a sharp knife.
- Arrange 6 squares (keeping the full stack intact) in two rows on a baking sheet. Split one square approximately in half, and set the top half aside. Generously brush melted margarine over the top of the half stack of phyllo sheets with a pastry brush. Place the other half of the sheets back on top, and brush again with margarine. Repeat for all 6 squares.
- Arrange 4-5 slices of pear on top of each of the prepared phyllo squares. Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and crispy and the pears are soft.
- While the first batch bakes, prepare the second batch on a separate sheet pan – or do them all at the same time if your oven is big enough to accommodate two baking sheets!
- Remove from the oven and enjoy warm, preferably on the day that they are made. Re-warm in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to enjoy the next day.
- Category: Pastry
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: fruit tart, pear, dairy-free desserts, phyllo dough
If you make these and love them, tell us about it in the comments below. And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating!
Looking for a more traditional tart recipe? We have a few for you to try!
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 8, 2015. Last updated: June 23, 2019 at 10:07 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).