“An April Saturday at Sunrise…Asian Pear Tartlets”
I almost always get out of bed before sunrise. It is my favorite time of day. Quiet. The light is soft and gentle, a bit blue-grey with pale golden tones, especially in early April. My kitchen will be dawn-dark, then slowly…very slowly sunlight creeps in, across the tables & counters, leaving everything in its path stunningly lighted.
(Notice how blue-grey the light is?)
Ingredients: Rounds of Pate Sucree, olive oil, Asian Pears ripe, good butter & raw sugar cubes (or just raw, loose sugar), sea salt.
There are many perks…both personally & culinarily…in my work as a food stylist. The perfectly perfect rounds of Pate Sucree (see above photo) were left over from a photo shoot job. I brought a few home for these quick & easy tartlets, freezing some for later ideas. But it is really easy to make your own. These are “round”…I could never roll out any dough this perfect, so when you make your own just let them be randomly wonderful. (see end of post for recipe for pate sucree)
Pâte sucrée is the French term for a sweet short crust pastry used to make tarts.
1. Peel Asian Pears & cut into thin wedges. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on each round of dough. Spread out with your hands. Pile pear slices in the center of each round.
2. Top pear slices with a few cubes of sugar & butter. Gather edges of dough up over the fruit leaving the center open. Sprinkle each with a pinch of sea salt. I used crunchy, flakey, Maldon, my personal favorite. Place each one on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, pop in the refrigerator for 10 minutes while you heat the oven to 375 degrees.
(Now…notice how the light changed in 10 minutes…tartlets are ready for the oven..the sunlight just beginning to top the trees.)
3. Bake tartlets for about 30-40 minutes until a deep golden brown. Serve hot or warm.
Because I did not have to make the pate sucree it only took about 15 minutes to make the tartlets plus the baking time. As I pulled the Asian Pear Tartlets out of the oven the sun absolutely flooded my kitchen…shafts of golden light hitting everything…a Saturday Sunrise, early April.
Quick & Easy Pate Sucree Recipe:
A quick & easy Pate Sucree….Pulse 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup sugar + a pinch of salt together in a food processor. Add 2 sticks of cold butter cut into random pieces + 2 egg yolks and pulse unto crumbly. With machine running drizzle in 1/4 cup cream or milk just until mixture comes together to form a ball. Remove from processor. Divide dough into two balls, pressing each into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic. Chill until ready to use or at least 30 minutes. Divide into smaller balls of dough and roll out into circles about 6 inches across.
April is here for the blinking of an eye…enjoy it.