Winter Design Trends

Pear and Fig Tart in a Jar Recipe

These fruit-and-cream tarts are simple enough for novice chefs to make, thanks to a pie crust shortcut. Individually portioned in portable clear glass jars, they're perfect for a holiday picnic or cocktail party.

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Makes 8 8-oz jars

Ingredients

8 (8-ounce) clear glass jars with lids
2 rolls ready-to-bake pie crust

For the Filling:
1 cup dried black figs quartered
2 pounds canned pear halves in syrup
2-1/2 cups apple cider
1 cup fruit brandy
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

For the Cream Topping
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2-1/2 tablespoons honey
2-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Garnish
1 bottle caramel syrup
1/2 cup English toffee bits

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out both pie crusts on a floured surface. Using the lid of a jar, cut crust into 8 rounds and ease each piece into an 8-ounce jar. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Set jars on a cookie sheet, add pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Take out weights and bake for 35 minutes. Tip: The crusts can be made up to two days ahead of time.

Meanwhile, drain syrup from pears. Set aside 1/2 cup of the peaches for garnish, then cut the remaining peaches into half-inch cubes. Combine figs, brandy, diced pears, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until pears are soft, about 18-20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and strain liquid into a bowl. Set fruit mix aside and return fruit liquid to saucepan and simmer on moderate heat until it turns into thick syrup. Set aside.

Whisk together mascarpone cheese and creme fraiche in a medium bowl. Add honey, lemon juice, vanilla extract and maple syrup.

When ready to serve, slice saved pears. Set jars on even surface. Using a ladle or ice cream scoop, distribute half of the fruit mixture evenly among the jars. Add two tablespoons of cream topping to each jar, followed by the remaining fruit mixture. Next, add another tablespoon of cream topping to each jar. Add a drizzle of the fruit syrup and a few sliced pears to each jar, then finish with caramel sauce and toffee bits.

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