Spiced Cranberry-Pear Tartlets

Spiced Cranberry-Pear Tartlets.

Warming spices, seasonal fruits, and a delectable Meringue topping bring immense flavor to a perfect teatime treat for fall in Spiced Cranberry-Pear Tartlets. 

Spiced Cranberry-Pear Tartlets
Serves: 8
  • 1 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated piecrust dough (2 sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3½ cups chopped ripe, peeled and cored Bartlett pears
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground anise
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Meringue (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray 8 (3½-inch) round tartlet pans with cooking spray.
  2. Cut both piecrust dough sheets into 4 equal portions. Place dough pieces into each tartlet pan. Using the large end of a chopstick, press dough into indentations in sides of pan. Trim and discard excess dough. Using a fork, prick bottoms of dough. Place tartlet pans on a rimmed baking sheet, and freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. Line each shell with parchment paper. Fill to the edge with pie weights or dried beans.
  4. Bake until tartlet shell edges are lightly golden brown, approximately 7 minutes. Carefully remove pie weights and parchment. Bake for an additional 3 minutes. Let cool completely.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Carefully remove cooled tartlet shells from pans and place on prepared baking sheet.
  7. In a medium sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add pears, lemon juice, granulated sugar, cranberries, dark brown sugar, and anise, stirring gently to combine and coat pears. Cook, occasionally stirring gently (so as to not break apart pears), until mixture has reduced and become slightly thickened and syrupy. Add vanilla extract. Turn off heat. Let mixture cool.
  8. Fill each cooled tartlet shell with cooled pear mixture, dividing evenly among tartlet shells.
  9. Spread Meringue over pear mixture, dividing evenly. (Make sure meringue completely covers pear mixture and touches tartlet shell edges to seal in pear mixture.) Using a small spoon, create swoops and swirls in meringue.
  10. Bake until meringue peaks are lightly golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. Using a large spatula, immediately transfer tartlets to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Serve immediately, or place in airtight containers and refrigerate for a few hours until needed.

Serves: enough to cover 8 (3.5-inch) tartlets
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  1. In a deep medium bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt, and then add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until meringue is thickened and has formed stiff peaks. Use immediately.


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