In my old age (HAH, good one right?!), I have really come to appreciate a good glass of wine. We all know that a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away, and I recently found an article from Health magazine that boasts even more health benefits of delicious vino. According to the article, regular consumption might help keep the pounds off, reduce forgetfulness, boost immunity, and prevent bone loss.
This being said, I fully support and regularly partake in wine & cheese nights (no surprise, I’m sure, since I have also previously mentioned my affinity for cheese). I wanted to add a little extra flavor to the most recent event I hosted (and, I’ll admit, I wanted to impress my guests by putting in a little more effort than simply setting out some cheese and crackers), so I whipped up some of these delicious savory/sweet mini tarts. The melted Brie and pear blend together inside of the puff pastry, and the nutty pecan and slightly sour balsamic drizzle on the outside make for a deliciously complex combination of flavors in every bite.
Mini Baked Brie, Pear and Pecan Tarts
adapted from Unsophisticook.com
- 1 pkg. (9.5-oz.) Puff Pastry Cups (the only ones I was able to find at my grocery store were Pepperidge Farm® brand)
- 8 oz. Brie cheese, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 lg. pear, diced
- whole pecans, toasted
- balsamic vinegar
Prepare the puff pastry cups according to the package directions.
Turn the oven to down 350 degrees. Remove the “tops” from the pastry puffs and fill the inside with a piece of Brie cheese and some diced pears. Return the tops to each of the pastries and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Let the pastry cups cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Top with a whole toasted pecan and drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top.
As previously mentioned in this blog, I have a bit of a pizza obsession. This recipe came about after I had some gorgonzola cheese leftover from another recipe; the rest is history! Using some super gourmet ingredients, this pizza looks impressive and is a real crowd pleaser. Serve it as an appetizer, or alongside a nice green salad for a complete meal, as I did.
Pear, Proscuitto and Gorgonzola Pizza with Balsamic Glaze
- basic pizza dough
- 2 semi-ripe pears, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- pinch salt
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 6 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated is best!
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 6 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
- balsamic for drizzling
Turn out prepared pizza dough onto lightly floured pizza pan and mold into desired shape. Let rest for 10 minutes. While the dough is resting, heat a large skillet over low heat and add olive oil and butter. Add in the pears with the salt and nutmeg and cover, cooking for 15 minutes and stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat more if they begin to brown too much. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes until golden. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add about three fourths of the parmesan on the dough along with the garlic. Spread the pears all over the pizza and cover them with the prosciutto. Crumble the gorgonzola cheese over top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Remove and drizzle balsamic on top.