Recipe: Pear and Brie Tart

As someone who balances a full-time job, this blog, a potential side hustle, friend and family obligations, boyfriend time, sleeping, and commuting to work every day, weekends mean a lot of things to me (as I'm sure they do most people).

Weekends need to be my social life and my alone time and my blog work time. I want a lot of things out of my weekends and that often leads to conflicting desires and maybe even a hangover in the mix, which always complicates things. I want to go to brunch with friends, but I also want to stay in bed all day, and I want to knock out 3 recipes for you. And as much as I tell myself that it's okay to not do it all, I'm still sometimes left feeling disappointed when I waste a precious weekend cuddled up on the sofa with strong tea, two cats, and hours of Netflix. But maybe it was the break I needed? A break that creates space in my brain for bigger and better content for this blog or something I've been struggling with at work? Who knows.

My biggest way to combat this Weekend Productivity Worries is by creating lists. Sitting down and thinking about what I want to accomplish in those 48 hours, breaking down each item into steps, and having a visual representation of what I've gotten done. And you know? It helps. When it's Sunday night and I think back on a weekend, I have a detailed report of what I knocked out. Or I know exactly what I need to work on this upcoming week/weekend. Plus, I like the feeling of being on top of things. In control of my time and what's going on in my life. It's something I strive for often in my life and rarely find (which is okay with me, I like the challenge and constant change of my life as well). But when I feel on top of things, in control, knocking things off that to-do list left and right? It's the greatest.

Whether you have oodles of times this weekend or not, this tart is simple and quick and great for a crowd. This tart also contents a lot of my favorite things: flaky crust, brie, pears, and dried cranberries. I encourage you to buy extra dried cranberries for this recipe, so you have enough after sneaking handfuls while assembling this tart.

Pear and Brie Tart with Cranberries

Makes one tart

1 sheet of thawed puff pastry
2-3 pears
squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 lb brie
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1-2 teaspoon sugar
1-2 tablespoon honey
ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Thinly slice pears and place in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over them and lightly toss. This will keep the pears from browning. Set aside.

Unfold puff pastry sheet and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Fold over all four edges of the puff pastry about 1/2 inch and press down with the tines of a fork, creating a small "crust" all the way around.

Slice brie into 1/4" slices and arrange on the puff pastry within the crust. You'll want to pieces of brie to be about an inch apart throughout the entire tart. Using clean fingers, lightly press the brie into the puff pastry so it spreads out and isn't as tall. Reserving a small handful of the dried cranberries, add the rest of them over evenly over the brie. Next, arrange pears in an alternating pattern, using any small slices to fill in gaps. Place remaining dried cranberries on top of the pears, and sprinkle the entire tart with sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden and flaky.

Remove from oven, drizzle with honey and top with a little cracked black pepper. Serve warm as an appetizer or light dessert.