Tag Archives: Pears

Tart Art: Recipes for Sweet or Savory Rustic Tarts

DSC_0626I’ve been looking for a great excuse to repost this blog on rustic tarts. Well, it being the eve of you-know-what, I don’t thing I even have to mention why you might want to totally distract yourself with an incredibly delicious cooking project. (Perhaps you don’t have a TV or the internet in your kitchen.) But even if you don’t feel like cooking today or tomorrow, chances are that either a sweet or savory tart might fit perfectly into one of your holiday menus. So, Ta da! A repost of where to find directions to all my yummy rustic tart recipes.


Sweet or savory, these open-faced pies can be everything from appetizer to dessert—and even breakfast. A couple years back, I wrote and photographed a story called “Tart Art” for Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, and now the recipes are all online. It’s a great place to go for my all-purpose, buttery, flaky dough recipe—and to find recipes for both my versatile fruit filling (apples, pears, or plums) and for two different savory fillings.


The fruit fillings work for sweet rustic tarts that are as delicious for dessert as they are the next day for brunch or an easy leftover breakfast. And if you’ve got a copy of Fresh from the Farm on hand, you can find one of my favorite variations in the recipe for Little Pear Crostatas with Hazelnut Crisp Topping. (Rustic tarts go by the name crostata in Italy and galette in France.)


The savory fillings I did for Martha’s Vineyard Magazine—Savory Cabbage, Apple & Cheddar and Savory Roasted Butternut, Pear, and Cranberry—are variations on the fillings I did for my tart chapter in The Fresh and Green Table. Not only are these savory tarts deeply flavored and satisfying (great with soup or salad), but they are a lot of fun to put together.


For step by step assembling instructions, you’ll want to look back at the directions and the photos I included in a previous blog, which includes a link to one of the recipes from The Fresh & Green Table. (The Seven Treasure Roasted Winter Veggie Tart is also a favorite in The Fresh & Green Table.) And over on the Martha’s Vineyard Magazine website, you’ll see that I’ve given you options for dividing the dough into either two or four pieces to make two bigger or four smaller tarts.

So you’ve got options.

And when summer comes around (we can be hopeful, right?) don’t forget about my most favorite tart of all—the Roasted Tomato Rustic Tart in Fresh from the Farm!




Honey-Vanilla Roasted Pear Recipe, Fresh From the Farm

35b. Honey Roasted Pears SM 4Maybe the best thing about being a cookbook author is that some of your own favorite recipes are, well, in a book! You completely forget about something, and then maybe the season rolls around and the memory of it floats back. But instead of rifling through a pile of magazine clips or trolling the internet, all you have to do is open your own cookbook to find the recipe.  (This is particularly helpful to absent-minded me, as my own record keeping system has deteriorated over the years.)

honey vanilla pears 5

Lately, recipe-memories have been bombarding me. Something about the end of summer and the start of fall really makes me want to cook, plus we have so many fruit-and-vegetable odds and ends migrating from the farm stand into the house. Mostly the recipes coming to mind are ones (not surprisingly) in the Indian Summer and Early Fall section of Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories. In fact, some of my favorite recipes in the book are in that section–Winter  Green Market Meatloaf; Roasted Beet “Jewels” with Cranberries, Toasted Pecans & Balsamic Butter; Mac ‘N Cheese with Kale, Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes; and Indian Summer Minestrone with Late Tomatoes and Beans, which I’m definitely going to make this week.


And now Roy is picking pears for the farm stand. Which means I’m getting the discards, ones with a blemish or two. I got this idea in my head that I might make pear butter out of them. I began looking at various recipes and then decided not only that the process was too time-consuming, but also that I wasn’t entirely sure how much pear butter Roy and I could consume.  Probably very little, I realized. Finally the memory light bulb went off and I thought, don’t I already know the perfect easy and delicious thing to do with these pears? Yes, of course. Roast them. With honey and butter and vanilla. A là Fresh From the Farm. So good.


The recipe I developed for the book goes one step further and uses the pears in a totally groovy dessert that showcases the pears on a pillow of ginger mascarpone cream on top of a giant soft molasses cookie (photo above). Yep. That is a mighty good recipe, I will tell you, but in the interest of time, you can just make the Honey Vanilla Roasted Pears and you’re good to go, with or without vanilla ice cream. (I also developed a variation on this recipe for Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt’s website. I used maple syrup and crystallized ginger instead of honey for roasting the pears, and then paired them with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and sea salt, of course.)

I thought I’d share the Honey-Vanilla Roasted Pear Recipe with you today in case you’ve lucked into a bounty of quickly ripening pears (or just have a few from the grocery store—this isn’t a big quantity recipe!). And then, if you like them, you can find the entire cookie dessert recipe in Fresh From the From!! Sneaky me. Some of my brain cells are apparently still firing, even after this summer.


Honey-Vanilla Roasted Pears

We like to roast our no-name Bartlett-look-alike pears (very sweet and delicious), but an iconic Bosc makes a lovely shape when roasted, too. I think using pears that are on the smaller side is best with this method; you’ll need to extend the baking time a bit for bigger pears. Be sure to baste frequently with the pan drippings, and add a bit of water to the pan if juices are burning. The roasted pears are delicious on their own, but also great with vanilla or ginger ice cream. Caramel sauce or chocolate sauce and a sprinkling of sea salt are nice finishes, too. To serve with Molasses Crinkles and Whipped Ginger Mascarpone Cream, see p. 233 of Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories.

Makes 6 roasted pear halves


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish

3 small firm-ripe pears (6 to 7 ounces each), peeled, cored, and halved

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Heat the oven to 450°F. Choose a 1 1/2- to 2-quart shallow baking dish (oval is nice) that fits the pear halves comfortably but does not leave too much room around them. Butter it lightly. Arrange the pear halves, cut side up, in the baking dish. Sprinkle each with just a pinch of salt.

Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the honey, the vanilla, and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the honey has loosened and the mixture is warm. Use a small basting brush to brush the tops of the pears with some of the honey butter.

Bake the pears for 10 minutes, baste again with some of the honey-butter (rewarmed to loosen if necessary), and bake for 10 minutes more. (If your pears are on the larger size, bake for 5 to 10 additional minutes on this side.) Gently turn the pears over, baste with some of the butter and some of the pan drippings and cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer, basting after 5 minutes and again every couple of minutes. (When you baste, be sure to “wash” the bottom and edges of the pan with the pastry brush to prevent burning. If the pan is getting too dark, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot water and “wash” the pan juices again.) Cook until the pears are nicely browned all over and caramelized around the edges (you can peek underneath with a very thin spatula). Let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a plate. (If you let them cool completely in the pan, the sugar will begin to harden and they may stick.) Eat right away or keep well covered in the fridge for up to several days.


Try This Tonight: Roasted Turnips & Pears With A Rosemary-Honey Drizzle

Sorry, but if I told you what I’d been doing for the past week or so, I’d have to kill you. Only kidding. It’s not top-secret. Just complicated in the way that only multiple Island-to-mainland round-trip ferry rides can be. Complicated in the wearing-lots-of-hats kind of way. You know, as much as I like being farmette girl, this week I had to wear some of my other hats (as we all do from time to time). I had to be cookbook author/cooking teacher girl and photo shoot girl, and more importantly, family girl and friend girl. Dr. Seuss would be proud, as I did manage to stack all my hats on my one head all at one time.

Anyway, the point is that you would die of boredom if I transcribed my diary, so instead, I’m offering you a timely recipe suggestion today. We have been gleaning pears from our neighbor’s pear trees, which were a bit rattled by Irene and are letting loose their fruit like a wet dog shaking off water. (I said gleaning, not stealing—the neighbors invited us to pick.) I’ve also been harvesting the purple-topped turnips I planted in July. I am in love with these darn things because they are so pretty and sturdy and useful and delicious all at once.

And, as it happens, for some reason (maybe I really was channeling the seasons), when I was writing Fast, Fresh & Green three years ago (that long now!), I developed a recipe that uses both turnips and pears. It also happens to be drop-dead easy and delicious. It was one of the recipes I demonstrated on Martha Stewart Television last Thanksgiving, and it was also featured in Martha’s Vineyard Magazine (see photo of finished dish). The recipe—for Roasted Turnips & Pears with a Rosemary-Honey Drizzle—came to mind last week not just because of the pear-picking, but because I wanted to give farm stand customers a turnip recipe that might encourage them to experiment. (And I admit, that might get them to buy turnips!) I know people often disdain turnips for their bitter edge, but I find they are delicious roasted, especially when combined with something a little sweet. (They are also really yummy in a slow-sauté, like the Caramelized Turnips, Potatoes & Carrots with Onion & Thyme I posted last year.) If you’re turnip-averse, please give this a try.

Roasted Turnips & Pears with a Rosemary-Honey Drizzle

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

There’s a lovely balance in this autumn side dish between the sweet pears and the, well, not-so-sweet, turnips – and between the floral honey and the piney rosemary. All the flavors come together in a way that just might be palatable for people who normally wouldn’t eat turnips. These would be delicious nestled next to a braised lamb shank or some short ribs. Purple-topped turnips don’t need peeling; nor do I peel pears when I’m roasting them, so this is an easy dish to put together.


3 medium purple-topped turnips (14 to 15 ounces total), unpeeled, cut into large (1/2- to 3/4-inch) dice

1 firm but ripe Bosc or Bartlett pear (about 7 ounces), unpeeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a large (18- x 13- x 1-inch) heavy-duty rimmed sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, toss the turnips and pears with the vegetable oil and the salt. Spread the turnips and pears in one layer on the sheet pan and roast, flipping with a spatula once or twice during cooking if you like, until the turnips are tender when pierced with a paring knife or spatula, 25 to 30 minutes (the turnips will be brown on some sides, the pears will be a bit darker).

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the honey and the rosemary. Simmer for a few seconds and remove from the heat.

Transfer the cooked turnips and pears to a mixing bowl and drizzle the butter mixture over all, scraping all of the mixture out of the saucepan. Toss well and transfer to a serving dish.

Serves 3