Cream Cheese-Filled Pear Tart
I’m so excited to share this Cream Cheese-Filled Pear Tart with you! It’s one of my favorite kinds of desserts. We’re talking quick and easy but looks impressive and pretty. This is a recipe to hang onto for those times when you need a simple dessert that’s sure to be a hit.
The tart starts easily enough with puff pastry. Add to that a layer of sweetened cream cheese, some spiced pears, a few nuts, and it’s ready for a quick stint in the oven. That’s all there is to it! It’s such a great option for a simple yet fantastic dessert.
For this tart, I roll out the puff pastry just a bit to make it slightly larger and thinner. I aim for about 1/8-inch thick. Then use a knife to score the edges to give yourself a visual for the filling and to encourage the sides to puff and form a raised crust around the filling. Take care not to cut all the way through the pastry.
All the pears need is a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If you want to add more spice, go for it. Use your favorite blend of spices to punch up the flavor a bit.
The sweetened cream cheese mixture underneath all of those pears adds such amazing flavor. That layer is kept thin so that it won’t make a mess when baking and also to keep the flavor balance so that it doesn’t overpower the pears. It’s not too sweet, either, so that you can enjoy the sweetness of the pears along with a little tartness from the cream cheese.
The hazelnuts are certainly optional, but I love the crunch they add. It’s a nice texture contrast with the soft pears and pastry. You can, of course, substitute another nut if you prefer. Almonds, pecans, and many others would be a great choice.
This lovely tart can be served warm or at room temperature. I especially love it warm with a bit of sweetened whipped cream. Of course, ice cream would be fantastic, too. However you serve it, I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
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Cream Cheese-Filled Pear Tart
Yield: 9 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cream Cheese-Filled Pear Tart is that perfect combination of easy to make and wonderfully delicious. A go-to recipe when I need a simple dessert that’s sure to please!
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed on the countertop for about 20 minutes*
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 medium pears, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick (Pick good baking pears like Bosc or Anjou.)
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
- ice cream or sweetened whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
- Unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll just a bit to a thickness of about 1/8 inch.**
- Score the pastry about 3/4-inch from the edges all the way around. Be careful not to cut all the way through the pastry. Transfer the pastry to the prepared pan.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until thoroughly combined and smooth. Spread evenly on the pastry right up to the scored edges.***
- Combine the pears, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place the pear mixture over the cream cheese mixture, again right up to the scored edges.
- Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the top of the pear mixture.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
- If desired, serve with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
*Frozen puff pastry only needs about 20 minutes at room temperature to thaw enough to handle. Just be sure not to leave it out too long, or it may get sticky and difficult to handle. In that case, you can put it back in the freezer for a few minutes until it’s more manageable.
**For recipe testing, I used Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets. Once rolled, the pastry measures about 9 & 1/2 x 11 inches.
***If you haven’t already sliced your pears, I recommend placing the pastry in the refrigerator while you get the pears ready to add to the tart.