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Mini Pear and Fig Tarts

Posted by tspbasil
September 23, 2016
Featured in: Sweet Splurges, Dessert
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Kitchen hack to the rescue in this recipe for Mini Pear Fig tarts using Mason jar lids to bake!

Kitchen hack to the rescue in this recipe for Mini Pear Fig tarts using Mason jar lids to bake! 

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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!)

Kitchen hack to the rescue in this recipe for Mini Pear Fig tarts using Mason jar lids to bake!

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]

Kitchen hack to the rescue in this recipe for Mini Pear Fig tarts using Mason jar lids to bake!

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!

Kitchen hack to the rescue in this recipe for Mini Pear Fig tarts using Mason jar lids to bake! via @tspbasil
Kitchen hack to the rescue in this recipe for Mini Pear Fig tarts using Mason jar lids to bake!

Mini Pear + Fig Tarts

Yield

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Place each crust directly on the oven racks and bake for about 20 minutes or until the crusts’ edges start to turn golden brown.
  5. While tart crusts are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in apricot preserves.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Place back in oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
  9. 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.
Click for nutritional information
Calories 294
Carbohydrates 61g
Fiber 6.1g
Sugar 30g
Fat 11g
Protein 4g
Sodium 13mg
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tspbasil

tspbasil
Deanna Segrave-Daly is the author of the SWEET SPLURGES Feature on HealthyAperture -- a monthly column designed for the reader who wants to eat healthfully most of the time but who also enjoys indulging now and then, too. Deanna is a food-loving dietitian who writes, develops recipes and dabbles in food iPhoneography for her blog Teaspoon of Spice. Along with being the {Sweet Splurges} Features Editor at Healthy Aperture, she is also the co-founder of The Recipe ReDux and Blog Brûlée. Her 8-year old daughter and picky eater husband keep her inspired to create appealing, good-for-you family cuisine.
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