A Holiday appetizer from Jen at JJ’s Kitchen – great to make ahead and have ready for any surprise Holiday guests or to take to a New Year’s potluck!
These are great little appetizers to have in the freezer over the holidays and are really simple to make. You can use frozen or refrigerated pie crust and bottled preserves or chutney. I have used homemade pie crust and made my own chutney and included those recipes, but by no means do you have to do that! I have included recipes for the pastry and chutney if you want to go that route. I would chop the onion and pears for the chutney a little smaller than I did in the photos next time…


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[if !supportLists]–>·       2 bosc pears

·       2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
·       ¼ cup sugar
·       1 tsp cinnamon
·       ¼ tsp ground cloves
·       ¾ tsp chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
·       2 tbsp oil
·       ¼ cup pure maple syrup
·       ½ medium onion, chopped into small pieces
·       1 garlic clove, chopped
·       1 inch piece grated fresh ginger
·       ¼ cup dried cranberries, raisins, or a combination of the two
·       ¼ cup white wine vinegar
·       ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Peel the pears and cut them in half. 
Peeled bosc pears sliced in half
Mix the lemon juice, 1 tbsp sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Toss the pears in this mixture. 
Place pears face down on a baking sheet oiled with 1 tbsp of the oil and brush them with the other tablespoon. 
Roast for 45-50 minutes. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Pear tartlet 3
While the pears are roasting, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil in a non reactive saucepan. 
Pear tartlet 2
Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop out the cores of the cooked pears. Chop the pears into small pieces.
Combine the pears and the onion mixture. 
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 day.
Pear tartlet 4
*Adapted from Epicurious, “In the Hands of a Chef”

Pie pastry:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1lb shortening
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
Mix dry ingredients together.  
Cut in shortening.  
Mix egg and vinegar in a measuring cup, then add water to measure 1 cup.  Add to pastry mixture and knead until mixed thoroughly.
This makes enough for 4 pie crusts.  You can divide the mixture into 4 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer in a Ziplock bag.  
This is my Grandmother’s recipe and she always says that the pastry is easier to work with after it has been frozen.

The next day:

Defrost the dough.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out the pie dough and use a 2″ round cutter to size the pieces to fit a mini muffin tin. 
Bake for 5 – 7 minutes, until the pastry has started to brown.
Remove tartlets from the oven and let cool.
Pear tartlet 5
Using a 425 gram block of brie or camembert, cut into small chunks (about the size of the tip of your thumb) and put into tartlets.  Add a few walnut/pecan pieces if you wish.
Top each tartlet with the chutney.
From here you can warm and serve, or put on a baking sheet and freeze for another day.
Pear tartlet 6
To cook from frozen, preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes, until filling is hot and cheese is melted.

  Have a great one!

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