This recipe features ripe pears, honey, creamy brie cheese, fresh rosemary and candied walnuts. Combined, this gluten-free pear and walnut tart is the perfect savory baked good!Jump to Recipe
Easy and Savory Puff Pastry
You can never go wrong with a good puff pastry recipe! The beautiful thing about puff pastries is not only their flaky exterior and moist interior, but the versatility of the dough. You can create an elegant dessert or an easy appetizer using the puff pastry dough as your base. There’s so many ways to utilize the dough, but this recipe has to be one of my favorites!
This Gluten-Free Pear and Walnut Tart with rich brie cheese is drizzled with honey and finished with candied walnuts from Santé Nuts. It uses only five ingredients to create a balanced bite that will keep you coming back for more! It’s the perfect recipe to serve as a starter for a summer dinner party or dessert to end the night. All in all, this recipe is not to be missed!
The Perfect Puff Pastry
Puff pastries seem to be everywhere lately, and for a good reason! This light, flaky pastry is made from laminated dough and has a buttery taste. It’s no surprise that this pastry originated in France and has countless recipe variations since its origin. But you may be surprised to learn that there is a gluten-free puff pastry dough option!
While there are gluten-free, homemade puff pastry dough recipes, until recently there has been little to no store-bought options. Luckily, Schär is here to save the day! Their dough is gluten-free and lactose free, making it an allergy-friendly puff pastry dough alternative. It provides the perfect base for this Gluten-Free Pear and Walnut Tart!
How to Thaw the Gluten-Free Puff Pastry Dough
Schär provides two options on their packaging for how to thaw the dough. First is to allow the frozen puff pastry sheets to sit at room temperature for roughly four hours. Second, use the defrost setting on your microwave for about five minutes. Obviously, one option is much faster but does it work better?
Surprisingly, the faster option is the best thawing method here! Thawing the dough at room temperature actually makes the dough harder to unroll and leads to breakage. I’ve found that microwaving the dough on the defrost setting yields the best result. Here are a few tips to help:
- Allow the frozen sheet of puff pastry dough to sit at room temperature for five minutes before microwaving.
- Place on a microwave-safe plate, still rolled, then thaw on the defrost setting for about five minutes.
- After the allotted time, cut the packaging and carefully unroll the dough.
- Allow the dough to cool on the plate for a few minutes before transferring.
As this is gluten-free dough, the sheets will be a little thicker compared to traditional puff pastry dough. But the taste is the same!
What Pears are Best to Use?
There are so many different varieties of pears to choose from! While you can’t go wrong with any pear, there are certain flavor pairings to keep in mind.
- Bartlett Pears: This class pear is the most well-known amongst the pear family. Its buttery, sweet flavor makes it irresistible. It’s very juicy and is often eaten fresh or used for canning.
- Bosc Pears: This bronze-colored pear has a signature long neck that makes it stand out amongst others. Like the Bartlett pear, it’s very sweet and juicy. But it has a more complex flavor profile with hints of warm spices, like cinnamon. This makes it a great option for baking!
- D’Anjou Pears: These pears come in both red and green coloring but share the same taste. The D’Anjou pear is typically harvested in Washington during October and has a unique citrus flavor.
- Asian Pears: Also known as Apple Pears, these pears are known for their round shape and crisp texture. Unlike other pear varieties, they have a melon-like flavor that makes them the perfect option for salads.
Ultimately, the Bartlett pear is the featured pear of this recipe. While there are a number of other pears and all are great options, the flavor of the Bartlett pear pairs best with the creaminess of the brie cheese and sweetness from the candied walnuts.
The Best Nut Option
With so few and such simple ingredients, it’s important to have one ingredient that will tie the rest together. The candied walnuts connect the puff pastry, brie cheese, pears, honey and rosemary by complimenting their flavors. Walnuts have a complex taste with a high oil content, sharp notes that have a hint of bitterness, as well as natural sweetness. Combine that flavor profile with the sugar coating, and these candied walnuts from Santé Nuts create the ultimate bite.
Like all the products from Santé Nuts, these walnuts are hand roasted and seasoned, making each batch one at a time. The candied walnuts are delicious in baking, like this recipe, but are also an amazing addition to cooking. Try using them in pesto and make this pasta salad recipe! Or just snack on them and take in all of the delicious flavors.
Santé Nuts has more than just candied walnuts though! They also have almonds and pecans with a wide variety of flavors, from sweet to savory. Here are a few ways that I love to utilize their products:
- Garlic Almonds: These irresistible, savory almonds are my go-to for snacking but also make for the perfect crunchy element in my Lemony Asparagus Risotto recipe.
- Candied Pecans: There are so many ways to use these nuts in your cooking and baking! For sweet inspiration, check out this Gluten-Free Pecan Crusted Mini Key Lime Pies. Or utilize them in salads, like this Radicchio Salad with Pecans.
- Cocoa Almonds: Satisfy your sweet tooth with these chocolate coated almonds. These nuts are great on charcuterie boards, trail mix or in ice cream- like my Rocky Road Ice Cream.
Assembling the Tarts
After the gluten-free puff pastry dough is thawed, the tarts take only minutes to assemble! You can cut your dough into six long pieces or four squares, depending on the size of tarts you’d like. Once cut, place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To prevent the dough from burning, brush each tart with egg wash before layering any ingredients. Make the egg wash by combining one room temperature egg and two teaspoons of water. Lightly brush each piece of puff pastry dough with a thin layer of the egg wash.
Then, place two small pieces of brie cheese in the center of the dough. This may not seem like enough cheese, but it will spread as it melts. Add two pieces of sliced pear on top of the brie cheese. Drizzle honey over the pear to coat them. You’ll only need a teaspoon of honey per puff pastry dough piece. Finally, top with the candied walnuts from Santé Nuts and fresh rosemary! These sweet, crunchy nuts add the perfect textural element to the soft toppings. As well, their flavor compliments the brie and cheese beautifully!
Final Step: Baking the Gluten-Free Pear and Walnut Tarts
Once the tarts are assembled, there’s only one thing left to do… bake them! All you have to do is pop the baking sheet into the oven and place it on the center rack. The tarts will bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-17 minutes. If you want them a little more crisp than flaky, you can bake them for a total of 20 minutes.
The exterior of the puff pastry should rise and become a beautiful golden-brown. The center of the tart, where the pears are, will not rise as much due to the weight of the ingredients. The brie cheese will spread though and become bubbly along the edges. And luckily, you don’t have to worry about the candied walnuts burning! They stay perfectly crunchy and sweet.
After the allotted time, remove the tarts from the oven and allow them to cool at room temperature for five minutes. If you’d like, you can garnish them with another drizzle of honey. Then, serve the tarts warm and enjoy! You can serve them as an appetizer or add a scoop of ice cream and have them for dessert. The choice is yours!
Gluten-Free Pear and Walnut TartCourse: Appetizers, DessertDifficulty: Easy
These Gluten-Free Pear and Walnut Tarts come together in less than 30 minutes and make for the perfect bite!
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Thaw the puff pastry sheets according to package instructions. Once thawed, carefully unroll and cut into six small pieces of four squares. Repeat with the other sheet, then place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Combine the egg and water, then brush over each puff pastry piece to prevent burning.
- Slice the wedge of brie cheese into 2″ pieces and place on the puff pastry (two pieces of brie if you cut the sheet into six pieces, or three pieces of brie for four squares).
- Wash and slice the pear before placing two pieces on top of the brie.
- Drizzle a teaspoon or two of honey over each puff pastry piece before sprinkling with crushed walnuts and a few pieces of fresh rosemary.
- Place on the center rack and bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown.
- The best way to thaw the puff pastry sheets is to place one roll at a time (still in the covering) on a microwave-safe plate and use the defrost setting on the microwave for roughly five minutes.