Seckel Pears and Pate Feuilletee

Although it might seem I am all about sophisticated food, the truth is that I love rustic cooking. I dream of having a garden one day, growing some vegetables and surrounding myself with fruit trees. I live off soups, stews and fruit most of the time and fruit desserts and custards are my comfort desserts.

I find that making dough is a very earthy feeling. It is much about how it feels in one’s hands. Whether it is soft, sticky and cool ferment or ice cold pie dough, I love touching my ingredients. Hard to describe. Laminated doughs intimidate many people, but in reality, they are easy to make at home. It requires time, a bit of attention and a cold surface always helps. The process is very rewarding and the result, amazing.

This time, I tried Pierre Herme’s pate feuilletee inversee recipe from “Chocolate Desserts”. Inversee or inverted means that the butter block is actually on the outside and the flour dough is the lock-in, which is the reverse method of most common puff pastry recipes. This one was very easy as it only has three folds. It makes enough to make four of these tarts and still leaves you with lots of extra to freeze.

The seckel pears are from our farmer’s market, which was a surprise since I have not seen them anywhere this season. These are some sweet pears to eat raw, but this time, I poached them a bit and baked them in the puff pastry tart shell with some hazelnut frangipane. Crispy and buttery.

Pate Feuilletee Inversee
adapted from Pierre Herme’s “Chocolate Desserts”

400 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
175 grams all purpose flour

With the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the flour and mix until combined.

Scrape the mixture into a large sheet of plastic wrap and form a square that is about 6 inches (15 cm) wide. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

185 grams water
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white vinegar
420 grams all purpose flour
115 grams butter, melted and cooled

Place the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. While the mixer is on, add the melted butter and mix until starts to combine. It will be lumpy. Mix the water, salt, vinegar together and slowly add it to the flour while the mixer is on low speed. Mix until it starts to come together. Depending on the flour, you might not need to add all the water. The dough should be the consistency of soft tart dough.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a square that is about 2 inches smaller than the butter block. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Place the chilled butter block on a well floured marble surface (best). Roll it to a rectangle that is about 12″x7″. Place the flour block on the middle half and fold the rolled butter block on top. Seal the edges well. make sure the block that is inside reaches out to all corners. Press it gently if you need to. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for another 2 hours.

To make the first turn, roll the dough on a well floured surface to about 21″x7″. The size doesn’t really matter that much as long as the dough is three times the length as the width, Give it its first book fold by folding one end of the dough to the middle, the same with the other end. Fold the dough in half at the center. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 2 more hours.

Repeat with a second letter fold and refrigerate overnight after this.

The following day, give it its last turn but this time it will be a letter fold. Roll the dough three times the longer than its width. Fold one end so it covers the middle third of the dough and fold the other end over it. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Roll the dough to about 1/8″ thickness. Refrigerate the dough for another 30 minutes before cutting. You can also freeze the rolled puff pastry at this point. Just cut it into rectangles that will fit into your sheetpan and place parchment paper in between the sheets so they do not stick in the freezer. It will last up to a month in the freezer.

Hazelnut and Almond Frangipane

100 grams butter, room temperature
100 grams sugar
1 egg
10 grams flour
50 grams almond flour
50 grams hazelnut flour
Dark rum, to taste (splash)

Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour, almond and hazelnut flours and mix until it comes together. Add the dark rum to taste (about 1 Tbs).

Poached Seckel Pears

200 grams sugar
400 grams water
1/2 vanilla bean
10 seckel pears

Make a sugar syrup with water, sugar and vanilla. Peel the pears leaving the stem on. Poach the pears in the sugar syrup in medium to low heat for about 15 minutes or until soft. Remove pears from syrup and let them cool. Store pears in cooled syrup in refrigerator.

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76 Responses to “Seckel Pears and Pate Feuilletee”

  1. Even your “rustic” exudes a sophisticated beauty. This makes me wish I had more time to bake!

  2. A wonderful way of using Pâte Feuilletée! Nothing compares to homemade pastry… Really tempting little tarlets!



  3. Christy says:

    I’ve heard so much about this method of making puff pastry, but has always been too scared to try it out, lest the butter dough breaks whilst I was rolling it….but I might try it again, because you always have to face your fears, right?

    Your puff pastry rounds look so comforting and inviting paired with those pears!!

  4. raj says:

    im really confused!
    so as you make the pastry the butter is always on the outside? and you don’t see the flour dough at all?
    could you explain please please?
    bcs i REALLY want to try this out.
    at the moment i have some puff pastry thats been sitting in my freezer for the past 2 weeks, so i’ll probably just use that, but i’d really like to know how this recipe works!

  5. Eleaca says:

    I love pears and this looks divine!

    I always say I am going to plant a garden and never do. I need to do that this year.

  6. Cute little beauties!
    Does the butter dough not become sticky or melt? It looks as beautiful as the other puff pastry. Is the taste in any way different from the other one? We are such hogs – if I buy small pears I am the one who can’t resist eating them up as they are juicy and sweet! I have never had the heart to poach them:)

  7. Happy cook says:

    Wow beautiful and i am sure they were delicious.
    I have never made puff pastryat home.

  8. Claudia says:

    The middle of the way between comfort ans sophistication sounds perfect to me.

    Beautiful little tarts,


  9. morgana says:

    Qué cosa más bonita… ¿Son peras como las sanjuaneras españolas o saben diferentes? Parecen algo más firmes pero desde luego quedan monísimas.

    A mí las pastas de este estilo me imponen bastante, lo reconozco, creo que si no fuera por las Daring Bakers no me habría animado a hacer ninguna por puro miedo pero luego tienen un paladar tan delicado que no hay quien se resista a ellas. Sobre todo si nos las ponen de la forma tan apetecible en la que tú nos presentas todo.

    Ay… cómo me gustaría a mí también tiener ese huerto que describes, con sus árboles cargados de frutos y flores..

  10. The beauty of your photos is endless!!!!

  11. Aran says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Raj and Sunshinemom- Take a moment to read the recipe on the post and you will see how the butter will not stick. the butter is mixed with flour and then lots of bench flour is used to roll the dough.

    Morgana- No se como se llaman estas peras en castellano. Son firmes y dulces. Creo que una pequena huerta me traeria mucho equilibrio, aunque tambien mucho trabajo! Pero sigo sonando…

  12. Kim says:

    I love Seckel pears and often use them in a salad. When I get past this month and have some down time in January, I am going to start working on learning about laminate doughs. You have inspired me with your words and photos on how you love working with this dough. Just stunning!

  13. Bea says:

    lovely little tarts! Oh yes I agree with you too, rustic food is a MUST!

  14. I havent tried making Pâte Feuilletée! This looks not too complicated. Will give it a try one day… Love pics!

  15. What gorgeous little treats! I have a few pastries I want to do but I am one of those that thinks making it at home is rather impossible. Thanks for sharing your treats!

  16. Algún día lo tendrás…
    Para eso están los sueños, para perseguirlos.
    Un besazo

  17. ChichaJo says:

    Lovely! Even when you do rustic it still comes out so elegant! It will take some time for me to find simplicity in making a laminated dough but maybe someday I won’t be such a scaredy cat!

  18. paula says:

    it seems we have the same dream. today i inspired to create something yummy, thank you!

  19. I love warm rustic comfort food. These tarts look delcious- the combination of pear and the hazlenut and almond frangipane is wonderful. Your site is lovely, gorgeous photography.

  20. ooooh you’re definitely right, anything with fruit is better. I hope to have a garden around me someday too–with lots of tropical fruit, my favorite! so i guess that means i have to go somewhere warm. but until then, at least an herb garden though!

    your pastry looks incredibly difficult–but perfect!

    rustic is a good word. makes everything sound warmer. :)

  21. Astrid says:

    Lovely! I also love the feeling of working with dough. However I don’t enjoy making Hermé’s inverse pâte feuilletée, I find the butter block on the outside really sticky and messy to work with, don’t you? I have to roll it wrapped in plastic wrap, it’s a mess, no matter how cool I keep it. But no doubt, the result is delicious.

  22. Astrid says:

    Sorry it’s me again. I t
    hink I find it difficult to work with because the recipe I have says to try to avoid using bench flour while you’re making the turns, though it’s OK to use it when you roll out the final dough. Without the flour it’s really hard to keep the dough neat, but I place the dough between plastic sheets or parchment paper and it’s OK, though not fun.

  23. idu says:

    egunetik egunera hobetzen Aran…
    Ez dakit zergaitik zoriondu aurrena.. errezetagatik, ala argazkiengatik.. ikusgarriak benetan,
    Eta aurreko post-eko tartatxoaren dekorazioa… zer esanik ez

  24. cindy* says:

    your rustic is still stunning aran! i also dream of a large edible garden and fruit tress…that is the goal for me. i love the sound of a hazelnut frangipane…yum!

  25. Liska says:

    This looks yummy. I love eating puff pastry, but making it drives me crazy ;-)

  26. amy says:

    mmmhhhh, i’d add a nice spoonful of cream/custard/ice cream and dig right in!

  27. Une belle pâte croustillante et des poires fondantes… j’en ferais bien mon dessert…

  28. linda says:

    Pretty and delicious autumn tarlet. Making puff pastry is still on my to-do list. I’ll just wait till a DB challenge that involves puff pastry ;)

  29. Aran says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Astrid- What I found with this recipe is that like you said, a lot of bench flour has to be used so the butter doesn’t stick and then the dough becomes a bit tougher to roll. I prefer the regular method as well but I did like making it.

    Idu- Mila esker! Gustora egiten dot eta!

  30. katrina says:

    Just over from TasteSpotting to say how beautiful this is! And delicious……….

  31. Beautiful pictures (as always)!!

    I love your “romantic” thoughts on “earthy feelings” and laminated doughs…

    I also wish I could live surrounded by fruit trees and vegetables……..


  32. Medena says:

    What a great job with the dough! Beautiful dessert; gorgeous pictures!

  33. Lovely pictures!This looks so yummy!

  34. Maria says:

    What a nice sweet treat! Great photos too!

  35. raj says:

    thank you! i realized that i’d missed the first paragraph every time i read the recipe!!

  36. Y says:

    Love the little pears – they look so cute snuggled together on top of the pastry :D

  37. Hey, thanks for the comment on my blog! :D

  38. this looks gorgeous. your pictures are a feast to the eyes :)

  39. Olga says:

    Stunning photos! This looks like such a sweet treat!

  40. Beautiful composition and lovely puff!

  41. Lori says:

    These pictures and your pastry are earthy and beautiful. Very charming dessert!

  42. Tartelette says:

    Wonderful combinationof textures and flavors! When are computer screens gonna have a smell button darn it!!

  43. Just gorgeous Aran! You are amazing!

  44. Lorraine E says:

    Look at all of those layers. This is absolute perfection in pastry-BRAVO!!! :)

  45. nadia says:

    beautiful aran, i love these phtographs specialy the layered pate waiting to be baked.

  46. Miss Kate says:

    Those poached pears look delectable. I wish I had jars and jars of them lying around, so I could snack on them at my leisure. Another wonderful post.

  47. Zerogluten says:

    He intentado hacer varias veces el hojaldre sin gluten, porque me encanta, y mejor no comentarlo…
    Las peras en crudo no son mi fruta favorita precisamente, sin embargo en dulces me gustan muchísimo.
    Definitivamente a estas horas en España me comía yo una de tartaletas de las que has hecho.
    Como siempre fantástica receta, realización impecable y fotos inmejorables.
    Besitos desde el otro lado del charco.

  48. CF says:

    So hungry for your lovely tarts! I think I would probably remove the pear stems/seeds/cores, though — they are rustically beautiful with, but I would think easier to eat without.

  49. The picture is just gorgeous and I adore your desire to live and cook more naturally from the garden. I too long for that day. If we owned our home [and our yard] rather than rented, I’d already have an acre of fruit trees planted and the largest garden I could manage!

  50. cherie says:

    Could I make this with Bartlett pears?

  51. Aran says:

    Cherie- yes you could but Bartlett’s are larger so you might have slice them. If you do slice them, you won’t even have to poach them because they will cook quickly next to the frangipane.

  52. Jenny Tan says:

    Hi, just wanna let u know how much I love ur blog…this award is to u! :)

  53. Elizabeth says:

    Oh my, I have so much to catch up on here at Canelle et Vanille. I love working with dough too (though my dough certainly has never looked as attractive and photogenic as yours does!)

  54. Please tell me this is going to be featured in a gourmet magazine. They are stunning; and I can only image how divine they must taste.

  55. I love working with dough too Aran…but you work magic out of anything. These are ‘rustic’ dreams come true…stunning!

  56. PheMom says:

    So, Aran. I have to tell you that I am still running out of things to say because everything is so beautiful. Here’s the thing. Have you ever had a moment when you just see something and it is just so calming and relaxing and beautiful that there is just a golden moment there. Well, that is why my braincells can’t function around your photos. They just melt and relax and , well, drool. So, not eloquent, but there you go. : )

  57. Mobula says:

    Hola Aran!!! Pensaba que te había comentado este post pero se me había pasado…

    Un pequeño huerto, mis padres tienen uno y cuando subo a su casa, ellos viven en el campo me paso todo el día detrás de mi paadre quitando hierbas, planificando que cosas plantar de nuevo o cuales no,… el le dedica tosdas las tardes después del trabajo, dice que así se quita el estres de la crisis (es ecocnominta)…

    He tomado buena nota de las peritas, tiene que estar deliciosas…


  58. I think while your desserts are amazingly sophisticated there is a simplicity.Your respect for the ingredients shine through, point being this recipe. I mean these pears look incredible.

  59. breadpitt says:

    the pear seems to be so tempting, plus the crunchy based,and those pic are always nicely taken , which i really envy

  60. Talita says:

    I love the taste of pear! It’s so delicate! This recipe looks delicious! I’ll do it!
    Come to know Chocorango, the blog wich delicious like chocolate with strawberry!

  61. Edi Style says:

    Mouth drooling! I came here via Nadia and I am just going to stay

  62. limonana says:

    too gorgeous! i know what you mean about touching your ingredients..& to one day have a garden like that would be a dream…surely you will have it one day!

  63. Jen Yu says:

    This is such an amazing combination of flavors and textures. How beautiful too – as always! I only discovered seckel pears a few years ago and fell in love with them because they are so delicous and soooo cute. Yours look so comforting, snuggled together in that happy bed of flaky pastry :)

  64. Jude says:

    Ooh inverted puff pastry. So intimidating for me. I haven’t even mastered classic puff pastry yet.
    That’s just beautiful and impressive.

  65. heathashli says:

    Maybe I missed it, but where are the instructions for assembling, baking times, & temperature?

  66. Aran says:

    Heathahli- No, you didn’t miss it. I didn’t include it. It’s easy top assemble the tart. Cut a circle of puff pastry, dock it, pipe a small amount of frangipane in the center of the pastry and place the pears on top. Bake at 400F until pastry is golden brown. try it!

  67. So pretty!
    i love baking/cooking with pears and apples… they go nice and soft!
    you make making puff pastry sound so easy… it is not. with my patience. it certainly is not.
    though i shall try again sometime!
    and in my mind i shall be picturing this lovely pear and frangipane pastry tart…
    the little train that could.

  68. Sam says:

    This recipe looks delicious! Will give it a try one day. The picture is just gorgeous!

  69. Teanna says:

    You inspire me to be better at both pastry arts and food photography.

  70. TamathaV says:

    Aran, these are so beautiful! I tried them using the frangipane and some fanned slices of raw Bartlett’s and they were out of this world! I did use the Roux bros classic recipe but I’m building up my courage to try the inversee this week for a latin themed dinner event this weekend that I’m making pastries for. I’m planning on adding spices to the butter lock. It will be used for mille feuille with pumpkin and caramel mousse. One question on the pears…how long will they keep fresh in the refrigerator? I’d love to make the pears ahead a few days.

    Can’t thank you enough for sharing your expertise. By the way,congratulations (early) on your new family member!

  71. Aran says:

    TamathaV- i’m glad you liked it! the pears will be good stored in the syrup for about a week. they might be ok after that too but sometimes they start to get moldy depending on how air-tight they are. i say about 7-10 days. try the inverted recipe. it’s excellent!

  72. Ana says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard about this type of pastry, so this is the first time I’ve heard that there are two different types of folds: the letter fold and the book fold. As I could understand (I’m portuguese, I may sometimes have some difficulty) from what I read, the letter fold is also used for making puff pastry, correct? But the book fold got me a little bit confused. So…you do like the letter fold, but how do you fold the dough in half at the center? I didn’t quite understand, I’m sorry. Also, would it be too abusive to ask you to use measurements in cm or mm as well in your recipes? Because in Portugal we don’t use inches at all, so it’s always so difficult to convert the measures. It would be a really big help.
    Finally, I just wanted to say that I visited your blog today for the first time and I’m in love with it. I can’t stop looking at your pictures.
    I hope to hear from you soon!
    Thank you

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