We were told it was a hard cooking variety but picked and left in a basket, the pears ripen into honeyed perfection, ideal for this recipe.
These individual tarts are a nifty make-ahead dessert. Prepare the topping, bake the pastry and assemble at the last minute for a classy-looking pud.
Cooking the pastry between two baking sheets keeps it flat and crisp, almost biscuity. I was cooking for four but one sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry should give you six 12cm diameter discs. You could cut smaller circles and use them as a canape base, perhaps topped with pesto and sliced tomatoes.
2 small ripe pears per person
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon, to taste
1 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp honey, to taste
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry, preferably all-butter
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Cut 4-6 discs (or whatever shape you like) from the pastry: I used a 12cm diameter bowl as a guide. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Top with another piece of parchment and place a second baking sheet on top. Cook for 18-25 minutes (check as your oven will be different to mine) until cooked and golden, then set aside to cool. If you’re making this more than an hour or two in advance, store in an air-tight tin layered with baking parchment.
Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl. Peel, core and slice the pears and drop them into the lemon juice, tossing gently to coat.
Melt the butter and honey together in a pan. Add the pears and lemon juice and cook briefly over a high heat, stirring gently, until the syrup has reduced and thickened. Pour onto a plate, spread out to cool, and cover and refrigerate once cold.
To assemble, put a sheet of pastry onto each plate, arrange the pears neatly on top, and serve with quennelles (if you’re feeling fancy) or dollops (if you’re not) of ice cream or crème fraîche.