Life in a Northern Town

Pancetta & Asian Pear Tartlets

Are you casting about for an idea of a suitable appetizer to mark the end of 2012? Look no further, these little tartlets are full of flavor, beautiful to behold and easy to pull together. You can substitute pears or apples for the Asian pears I used— the key is just a little sweet fruit to play off the gorgonzola and pancetta. I drizzled honey on the top of the tartlets and while I couldn't necessarily pinpoint the honey flavor, it added a cohesive, glazed texture to the melted gorgonzola.

We are headed out to Ashwabay for the afternoon— Ted and the kids are skiing and George and I are walking out to the Nourse sugarbush. Tonight, I'm repurposing my Christmas prime rib as stroganoff, making a batch of fried chicken for the kids and I think there will be a few glasses of Rack & Riddle Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine in my immediate future. What a gift to spend the last day, of what has been a transformative year, with the people and dogs I adore beyond words. I hope your day and evening are full of whomever and whatever you hold dear.

Pancetta & Pear Tartlets

1 package of puff pastry, thawed
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 Asian pear, thinly sliced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup gorgonzola, crumbled
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
Honey
Maldon salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter the tartlet pans. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the pastry into individual rounds large enough to fit into your tartlet pans (mine are about 4 1/2 inches in diameter) and place in the buttered pans.

Divide and sprinkle the parmesan between the tartlet pans. Divide and place the sliced pears, onions, pancetta and gorgonzola in each pan and then drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Remove from the pans and either serve immediately while warm or at room temperature. Makes five 4 1/2 inch tartlets.