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Grab one of these Mini Pear and Goat Cheese Tarts with Puff Pastry while you can! The layers of creamy goat cheese and sweet pear slices on top of baked puff pastry make this easy fall appetizer impossible to resist. Your party guests will love them!
Creamy, sweet, and flaky tartlets!
These Mini Pear and Goat Cheese Tarts with Puff Pastry are always gone in a flash when I serve them at parties. A creamy and herbaceous goat cheese mixture is topped on a piece of buttery puff pastry and finished with gorgeous slices of red bartlett pears. Finish it off with a drizzle of honey and fresh thyme, and you have a to-die-for festive holiday or fall snack!
Listen - I love the herby and punchy goat cheese spread and the sweetness from the pear slices on these goat cheese tartlets, but what really makes them special is the puff pastry. This buttery frozen pastry melts in your mouth once it’s baked and is always my go-to when I want to take mini tarts, pigs in a blanket, or cheddar pinwheels up a notch!
Pear and goat cheese tart ingredients
All you need to make these puff pastry appetizers are a handful of simple ingredients. Try to use the high quality, fresh stuff for the absolute best flavors!
Goat cheese and flavor boosters
Goat cheese (also known as chèvre) is a soft and spreadable goat’s milk cheese. Its distinct earthy and tangy flavors make it the perfect partner for bright mix-ins, like lemon juice in this Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crostini. It’s also delicious paired with crackers and meat on a Fall Meat and Cheese Board.
For this goat cheese appetizer, the creamy cheese is stirred together with raw shallots, garlic cloves, fresh thyme, and salt and pepper. Let the cheese come down to room temperature before you start mixing so it’s easy to work with.
There aren’t many options if you’re thinking of replacing the goat cheese. Unlike other creamy cheeses, like ricotta or cream cheese, goat cheese doesn’t melt all over the place and stays on the puff pastry. If you’re worried about the flavor, experiment with different brands or flavor varieties.
The sweetness from pears is so delightful on these mini goat cheese tarts! Slice ‘em up thin and add 1 or 2 to each tartlet. I chose red bartlett pears because their red skin is so festive and helps these appetizers stand out compared to green or brown pears.
You can really use any pear you love but if you want the prettiest bites, go with red!
Puff pastry dough just brings me so much joy and is a fantastic base for these mini tarts. It’s a magical buttery pastry you can find in the frozen aisle at most grocery stores and is a foolproof alternative to traditional tart dough. All you have to do is defrost the frozen puff pastry and you’re good to assemble your tartlets!
The savory puff pastry appetizer tarts should be assembled while the pastry is still cold. Thaw the dough in the fridge but keep it in there until you’re ready to assemble. If it’s warm, the tarts won’t puff as well!
Drizzled on top of the tartlets for a sweet finish!
How to make mini pear and goat cheese tarts
These step by step instructions will show you how to easily put these creamy goat cheese tartlets together:
Step 1: Add the goat cheese, chopped garlic, shallot, and thyme to a bowl and mix.
Step 2: Chop the pears into thin slices.
Step 3: Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and slice each sheet into 16 pieces.
Step 4: Use a fork to dock the puff slices, then place a scoop of the goat cheese mixture on top.
Finish with 1 or 2 pear slices.
Step 5: Bake until the puff pastry is golden brown and crispy.
Let the tarts cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then drizzle the tops with honey, fresh thyme, and pepper.
Serve to all of your party guests and enjoy!
Mix up the flavors!
Make these mini pear and goat cheese tarts your own with a few substitutions or added flavors. It’s fun to mix things up in these delicious appetizers:
- Either swap the pear slices for apple slices or mix and match.
- Top with fresh rosemary instead of thyme.
- For a festive look, sprinkle a few dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds on top.
- Replace the goat cheese mixture with a small slice of brie.
- Add some crispy bacon or prosciutto on top for more saltiness.
- Swap the honey for maple syrup.
- Add lemon juice to brighten up the cheesy spread.
Frequently asked questions
This fancy party snack is best washed down with a Pear and Gin Prosecco Cocktail or a French 77. The fun doesn’t stop there! Whip up some Cranberry Brie Crostinis and a Winter Meat and Cheese Board so there’s plenty to eat at your winter-themed party.
While these tarts are best served hot and fresh, you could assemble them without the pear slices or make the goat cheese mixture and keep it covered in the fridge for 1 day. Right before the party, top each goat cheese tart with some pear slices and bake.
Store the cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 or 2 days. To reheat, let the chilled tarts come to room temperature first, then place them on a baking tray and heat in a 350ºF oven until warmed through. They won’t be as flaky and crisp as before, but will still taste delicious.
Mini Pear and Goat Cheese Tarts with Puff Pastry
- 8 ounces goat cheese room temp
- small shallot finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 small red pears sliced ¼ inch thick
- 2 sheets puff pastry thawed
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Optional: thyme sprigs and extra pepper to garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine goat cheese, shallot, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well.
- One sheet at a time, cut puff pastry into 16 rectangles. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Using a fork, dock the center of each puff pastry rectangle (poke a few times with the tines of the fork).
- Evenly divide the goat cheese mixture between the centers of the puff pastry rectangles, about 1 teaspoon per piece. Place the pear slices on top of the scoops of goat cheese, about 1-2 slices per pear.
- Bake until the puff pastry is golden brown, about 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
- Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with honey and garnish with extra pepper and thyme sprigs and serve!
- 1 serving = 2 pieces
MORE PARTY READY RECIPES!
If you have a ton of get-togethers this season, these recipes will be great to add to your party food rotation!
Anna M says
I am very rarely a goat cheese fan but these were AMAZING. The pastry was so good and the flavor combo of the fruit with the goat cheese makes it totally work for me!
Michelle Ferrand says
Woohoo! So glad to hear that this recipe was a win even with the goat cheese! Thanks for sharing!