Pear and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Wrap one up for your sweetheart for a sweet treat on Valentine’s Day!
Yield: 3-4 large heart shaped tarts (see note)
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar (or 1/4 cup granulated sugar)
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large Bosc pear, ripe but firm
1/4 cup hazelnuts (or nut of your choice), toasted
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, plus more for garnish
Course sugar for garnish, optional
1. To make the dough; In a food processor, pulse the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt until combined. Add the cold butter cubes, pulse until it resembles a course meal, about 10-15 times. Add one egg and the vanilla, pulse until the dough starts to clump together but does not ball up completely.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into thick disc, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month.
3. Let dough sit on the counter for 10 minutes before using to soften a bit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4” or 1/8” thick (about the size of sugar cookie dough). Working quickly so the dough does not get too warm, cut shapes out using your cookie cutter and gently transfer to the sheet pan, refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow the dough to firm up.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the filling; thinly slice the pear, grind the nuts in a food processor or spice mill, and finely chop the chocolate, set aside.
5. In a small bowl add the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon of water, whisk to combine.
6. Assemble the tarts; with a pastry brush or your finger coat the outside edges of your tart “bottoms” with the egg wash. Add a few tablespoons of ground nuts and chopped chocolate to the center of each tart, layer pear slices on the top of the nuts and chocolate. Place the top on the tart and seal the edges closed with your fingers or a fork. Brush the whole tart with the egg wash, sprinkle with course sugar if desired.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly brown on the edges. Let cool on the pan for 15 minutes, transfer to a wire rack.
8. An optional garnish, drizzle the tarts with melted chocolate or dust with sugar or cocoa powder.
9. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.
1. The dough recipe is enough for a single 9” tart crust. I used a 5 inch heart shaped cookie cutter and got 6 large hearts out of it for 3 double crust tarts, plus a few smaller shaped cutouts for munching on like cookies. To get more tarts, double the recipe
2. The amount of tarts you will yield from the dough, filling used and baking time will ultimately depend on the size of your cookie cutters.