Kitchen hack to the rescue in this recipe for Mini Pear Fig tarts using Mason jar lids to bake!
From late summer into early fall, I’m loving the bounty of fruit I'm getting in my CSA share.
Apples. Pears. Asian pears. One last harvest of peaches.
There are times, though, that the fruit is fully ripe at pick up, which means we’d have to eat three pieces of fruit a day (which my daughter can do) or get baking.
My go-to fruit dessert – no matter what time of year – is a free-form pie (like this Easy Rustic Apple Maple Pie) or a crostata (Plum Pear Crostata) Both of these recipes I’ve created for Healthy Aperture in past years with my CSA September fruit haul.
This year, I decided to dust off a healthy kitchen hack I learned earlier in the year and apply it to my haul of CSA pears and fresh figs that I bought at the store. (Man, I wish I lived in a climate that could grow figs locally!)
The baking trick is to use 3½-inch Mason jar lids as you would use a regular size tart pan (that’s the pan with a removable bottom) to make mini tarts. For this recipe, I used a sweeter dough similar to this German Fruit Tart but you can easily use frozen pie dough instead.
[Video demo on How to Make Mini Pies With Mason Jar Lids using pie dough]
As for these tarts, you not only get benefits from the better-for-you swaps I made (see below), but you’ll also impress your family and friends with the presentation. My dad actually thought these were from a bakery when I served them. #winning
Better-for-you recipe tweaks:
- Make them mini for built-in portion control
- Add some whole grain flour to the mix
- Less sugar added in the fruit topping and dough
- Almost a full serving of fruit with each tart
And the next day, I may or may not have had the leftovers for breakfast.
Kitchen hack to the rescue in this recipe for Mini Pear Fig tarts using Mason jar lids to bake! via @tspbasil Tweet this
Mini Pear + Fig Tarts
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon half & half or heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 3 pears, cored and thinly slice
- 8 fresh figs, cut into eighths
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For the crust, beat together flours, sugar, egg, half & half and almond extract. Add 5 tablespoons of sliced butter and mix together until a sticky ball of dough forms. Refrigerate for 30 - 60 minutes.
- On a heavily floured surfaced, knead dough a few times and divide into eight balls. Pat each ball into a 4-inch circle. Place each circle in 3½-inch Mason jar lids that have been greased. Pat down and push dough up the side of the rim of each lid. Prick the bottom of each crust with a fork.
- Place each crust directly on the oven racks and bake for about 20 minutes or until the crusts’ edges start to turn golden brown.
- While tart crusts are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in apricot preserves.
- Gently add in pears, figs and thyme. Stir carefully and occasionally for 5 minutes until they are heated through and glaze starts to form on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove crusts from oven and spoon pear and fig mixture over each crust. Spoon out any extra glaze in pan and drizzle over each tart.
- Place back in oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and after cooling for a few minutes, remove the outer rim and the bottom parts of the Mason jar lids from the tarts. Plate each tart and sprinkle with extra fresh thyme leaves if desired. Serve immediately.