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11 May 2009

Pear and Chocolate Tartlets

Last weekend in Italy we found some pear and chocolate pastries, which we just had to get for breakfast because pear and chocolate is one of my favorite unlikely flavor combinations. These pastries had bits of pear inside with chocolate melted all over it, all wrapped up in puff pastry and dusted on the top with powdered sugar mixed with cocoa powder. It was pretty good, but there was (you may not think this is possible...) too much chocolate and it overwhelmed the taste of the pears. I decided to make my own pear and chocolate tartlets to see if I could do as good or better, and this is what I came up with. It is super easy to prepare the elements days ahead of time, then bake when needed. you could even bake just two at a time. It would be simple to increase the amount or vary the size or shape of the tartlets as desired.

Pear and Chocolate Tartlets

Pie crust dough (enough to make a 1 crust 9-inch pie)
3 pears, not too ripe
milk for brushing on pastry crust
granulated sugar, to taste
about 1/2 chocolate sauce recipe

Roll out pie crust dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Keep the dough chilled for maximum flakiness. Cut dough into 6 rectangles, each about 5 x 3.5 inches, depending on how large your pears are. Use any excess dough for pie-crust cookies. Place rectangles on a lightly greased baking sheet, and score part of the way through pastry dough with a knife 1/2 inch inside of the edge. Brush a little milk onto each rectangle. Peel the pears, core and cut into 1/2 inch slices (10-12 slices/pear), cover generously with lemon juice to keep them from browning. Place slices of pears on the rectangles of dough, one half of each pear on each rectangle, keeping the pieces within the score marks. Sprinkle a little sugar on each tartlet, only about 1/2 teaspoon on each. Immediately place the baking sheet in the preheated oven at 400 F. Bake for about 20 minutes, till the edges and bottoms of the crusts are brown, and the juices have coagulated. Remove from baking sheet and let cool for at least one hour. Scoop chocolate sauce into a piping bag (or a sandwich bag with a hole in a corner to squeeze through). Squeeze a drizzle of chocolate sauce on top of the tartlets, not too much. Enjoy!

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