These sweet cinnamon pear tarts with puff pastry are made by coating pear slices in brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and baking them on top of tender puff pastry until golden. They’re quick and easy to make but so elegant that they’re certain to wow your dinner guests.
These easy individual pear tarts are certainly no trouble to whip up. They hide a buttery brown sugar filling under a layer of sweet pears, making them a delightful tea-party-time treat or elegant autumn dessert.–Sarah Walker Caron
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Cinnamon Pear Tarts FAQs
What type of pear is best for baking?
For this recipe, you’ll want a firm pear that’ll hold its shape while heated, and not turn to mush. The Bosc pear is the best choice, but Anjou pears and Concorde work well too, if you can find them. One of our testers used Bartlett pears with great success.
Can I make these tarts ahead of time?
We suggest making these tarts just before you’ll be serving them so the puff pastry doesn’t get soggy from the cooked fruit juices.
What should I serve with pear tarts?
Serve them unadorned right from the oven, with fresh whipping cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream–which almost all of our testers suggested.
I don’t have a shell-shaped cookie cutter. What else can I use?
While finished shell-shaped pastry is indeed lovely, you can use a scalloped-shaped or round cookie cutter. Heck, you can even go low-tech and cut the dough into 4-inch squares. All that matters is you make these!
Cinnamon Pear Tarts with Puff Pastry
- One (8-ounce) sheet frozen puff pastry at room temperature
- All-purpose flour for the cutting board
- 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter softened
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon divided
- 2 pears peeled, halved, and cored
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unfold the puff pastry on a floured cutting board and gently press out any wrinkles.
- Using a 4-inch (10cm) flower-shaped, scalloped, or circular cookie cutter, cut out 4 rounds. Arrange the dough rounds on the baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, butter, salt, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Divide the mixture evenly among the dough rounds, mounding in the center.
- Cut the pears into 1/8-inch (3-mm) slices, leaving the stem end attached. Fan out the cut ends of the pears as you place them cored-side down on the dough rounds, covering the butter mixture.
- In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the pears.
- Bake until the pastry is puffed and browned, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the tarts from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Quick desserts often reflect the effort in either appearance or taste, but these cinnamon pear tarts are both beautiful with their fanned-out plating and delicious with the cinnamon-and-brown-sugar filling.
The fruit is very much the MVP (most valuable pear) of the pear tart but is supported by aromatic cinnamon and the added brown sugar sweetness. Simply beautiful on the plate and delicious on the palate. Puff pastry can be magical and is a significant contributor to the ease of putting these tarts together.
Be pre-“pared” to wait a few days for your grocery store-purchased pears to ripen. I used Bartlett pears which I was beginning to wonder if they were perhaps ripe resistant as it took nearly 4 days for the fruit to change from green to yellow, but the wait was worth it, as the pears were sweet and just the right firmness to hold up during baking.
This cinnamon pear tart recipe is a simple dessert to make that still has an element of elegance. The pears bake up soft but still hold their shape. The pear tart would be complemented with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which I will add the next time I make it.
These pear tarts are quick and simple to make, yet yield a lovely, delicious treat. The beautiful presentation makes these perfect for entertaining–even my husband said they were elegant!
Pears are not necessarily a fruit of choice in our house, but the buttery filling and the cinnamon sugar really enhance the flavor. Puff pastry at room temperature is a little sticky and can be somewhat tricky to work with, but that is the only part of this recipe that takes much effort.
The recipe as written makes four tarts. We each had one so there were two left, and we found that they didn’t hold up well left over. The pastry got very soggy. It’s simple enough, however, to make just the amount you need.
I didn’t serve these with anything but coffee; however, we thought a scoop of good vanilla ice cream would be a great addition.
Originally published October 12, 2022