Salted Caramel Mascarpone Pear Tart

Salted Caramel Mascarpone Pear Tart
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This salted caramel mascarpone pear tart is decadent and fit for any special occasion, with the silky smooth salted caramel mascarpone filling in a toasted pecan crust and topped with sliced fresh pears.

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Need something yummy and impressive for a special occasion? I made this for an engaement dinner for one of our friends and it was a huge hit! It is beautiful to look at and to eat! The silky smooth filling pairs exquisitely with the crunch from the pecans and the sweetness from the pears.

Up close picture of a cut Salted Caramel Mascarpone Pear Tart with pecan crust.

Honestly I’m not a huge fan of mascarpone cheese but I’ll have to say when used in this salted caramel pear tart it’s pretty darn good! I can’t remember what inspired this recipe but it’s a keeper because I haven’t changed it much in testing since the first time I made it.

What you need to make Salted Caramel Mascarpone Pear Tart

Ingredients for salted caramel mascarpone pear tart.

Ingredient List

  • Pecans
  • Butter
  • Mascarpone Cheese
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Sugar
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cognac (optional)
  • Bartlett pears
  • Salted caramel (recipe below)
    • Brown sugar
    • Heavy cream
    • Butter
    • Vanilla
    • Sea salt

Special Tools List

  • 4.5″ x 14″ rectangular tart pan with removable bottom
  • Food processor (optional)
  • Electric mixer

Extra Tips for this recipe

Substitution Ideas

You can use a high quality boughten salted caramel if you don’t want to make your own.

If you don’t have a tart pan you could use a springform pan and make a round tart thingy:).

You could use brandy or bourbon instead of cognac. Or skip it all together although it adds such a nice flavor in my opinion.

Can this be made ahead?

The salted caramel can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

The tart can be made a day in advance but it is best to wait until just before serving to do the pears on top.

Tips for choosing pears

You want pears that are just ripe but not too soft.

I also look for the most uniformed shaped pears that are about 4 inches tall so they fit the tart well. They look prettier that way:)

How to keep the pears from going brown so fast

There are two ways I have done this and should make the pears stay fresh for a couple hours.

  1. Make a sugar glaze and brush onto the pears after they are on the tart. (recipe below). This method works best in my experience.
  2. After you slice the pears place them into a bowl with about 2 cups cold water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice, let sit 5 minutes or so. Drain and pat dry before placing onto the tart.

How to make Salted Caramel Mascarpone Pear Tart

For the Salted Caramel

1. In a small bowl stir together 1/2 cup packed brown sugar with 4 tsp water until well combined.

2. Cut 2 TBSP butter into cubes, use one of the pieces to rub the sides and bottom of a small saucepan. Carefully pour the sugar mixture into the pan. Don’t stir it after it’s in the pan. You can swirl the mixture gently while it is cooking to make sure it doesn’t burn. Place over medium heat just until the edges start to bubble. Reduce heat to low cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and it looks syrupy (the mixture should be bubbling gently the whole time). Use a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan while it is cooking.

Note: To check if the sugar is dissolved dip a clean spoon into the mixture, it should look smooth on the spoon and have a sticky texture.

3. Remove from the heat. Add 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream a little at a time whisking to incorporate. Add the 2 TBSP butter you cubed earlier. Return to a boil over medium heat and boil 1-3 minutes whisking continuously until thickened.

Note: To test the consistency of the caramel to make sure it is thick enough. Fill a small bowl with ice water. Get a spoonful of caramel and hold it on top of the ice water until it is cooled. Then you can see what the texture will be when it is cooled. If it is too runny boil it another minute or two and test again.

Remove from the heat. Stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Pour into a heatproof dish, don’t scrape the sides of the pan. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Note: You may need to adjust the amount of salt depending on if you use salted butter or not. Or to your taste.

For the Toasted Pecan Crust

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Finely chop 8 oz pecans, you should have about 1 3/4 cups. Using a food processor makes this easy!

3. In a mixing bowl combine the chopped pecans, 1 TBSP sugar, 3 TBSP melted butter, 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup and a pinch of salt if you’re using unsalted butter.

4. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 4.5″ x 14″ tart pan with a removable bottom. Place the tart pan on a tray to catch any leaks and bake for about 15 minutes or until the nuts are browned and toasted. (It will smell amazing!). Cool completely.

Tip: If the crust shrunk a little while baking just gently press it back up while it is still warm.

For the Salted Caramel Mascarpone filling

1. In a mixing bowl combine 8 oz mascarpone cheese, 3 TBSP salted caramel, 1 TBSP sugar (or to taste), 1 TBSP cognac (optional), and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. Beat until well combined and fluffy about 1 minute stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl.

2. Measure 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, slowly add about 1/4 cup or so beating until smooth. Add the rest and beat until the mixture is stiff and smooth. (Be careful not to over beat or it won’t be silky smooth). Spread into the cooled crust, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

For pears on top

Note: If you are going to serve this immediately after topping with the pears you can skip step 1.

1. In a small saucepan (I use a 2 cup metal measuring cup) combine 2 TBSP water and 2 Tbsp granulated sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally or until it is a thin sticky syrup consinsty. (test by dipping the back of a clean spoon in the mixture testing between your fingers, after it is cool enough!) Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Cool completely. (It should look somewhat like honey when it is cooled).

2. When your sugar mixture from above is cooled. Remove the tart from the pan. Peel, core, and thinly slice lengthwise 2 ripe but firm bartlett pears.

3. Start layering the pear slices on the tart with the skinny side toward the center and the round part toward the end of which ever end you are starting on. Layer alternating sides, so they overlap in the middle. You should have two rows of pears with a criss cross look in the center.

4. Brush all the exposed parts of the pears with the cooled sugar syrup. Serve within a couple hours for prettiest results. I also like to drizzle it with more salted caramel when serving.

To Plate

Place a spoonful of caramel toward the side of the plate. Using a spoon or a pastry brush spread the caramel across the plate. Place a piece of tart on the edge of the caramel. Place a small spoonful of diced pear and pecan pieces on the other side of the plate. Serve and enjoy!

cut and spread apart pear tart

Salted Caramel Mascarpone Pear Tart

A silky smooth mascarpone filling flavored with salted caramel and cognac in a toasted pecan crust. Then topped with sliced pears. The perfect pairing of salty and sweet, smooth and crunchy! A dessert worthy of any special occasion.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Cooling 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 750 kcal

Ingredients
  

Salted Caramel

  • ½ cup Brown sugar
  • 4 tsp Water
  • 2 TBSP Butter cut into cubes I use salted
  • cup Whipping cream
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp Sea salt Or to taste

Toasted Pecan Crust

  • 8 oz Pecans finely chopped about 1 ¾ cups
  • 1 TBSP Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Pure maple syrup
  • 3 TBSP Butter melted

Mascarpone Filling

  • 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 3 TBSP Salted caramel
  • 1 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 TBSP Cognac
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup Heavy whipping cream

Topping

  • 2 TBSP Granulated sugar
  • 2 TBSP Water
  • 2 about 4 inch tall Bartlett Pears ripe but firm

Instructions
 

Salted Caramel

  • In a small bowl combine the sugar and water. Using one of the pieces of butter rub the sides and bottom of a small saucepan. Carefully pour the sugar mixture into the pan. Don't stir it after it's in the pan. You can swirl the mixture gently while it is cooking to make sure it doesn't burn. Place over medium heat just until the edges start to bubble. Reduce heat to low cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and it looks syrupy (the mixture should be bubbling gently the whole time). Use a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan while it is cooking.
  • Remove from the heat. Add the heavy whipping cream a little at a time whisking to incorporate. Add the butter. Return to a boil over medium heat and boil 1-3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Pour into a heatproof dish, don't scrape the sides of the pan. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Toasted Pecan Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F
  • Add all the ingredients to a bowl, mix until well combined.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 4.5" x 14" tart pan with a removable bottom. Place the tart pan on a tray to catch any leaks and bake for 14-16 minutes or until the pecans are well toasted. Cool completely.

Mascarpone Filling

  • In a mixing bowl combine the mascarpone cheese, salted caramel, sugar, cognac, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and fluffy about 1-2 minutes.
  • Slowly add about ¼ cup of the whipping cream while beating. Beat until smooth. Add the rest of the cream and whip until smooth and stiff about 3-4 minutes (be careful not to overbeat).
  • Spread the filling into the cooled crust. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Topping

  • In a small saucepan (I use a 2 cup metal measuring cup) combine the water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally or until it is a thin sticky syrup consinsty. (test by dipping the back of a clean spoon in the mixture testing between your fingers, after it is cool enough!) Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Cool completely before using (It should look somewhat like honey when it is cooled).
  • Just before or a couple hours before serving. Remove the tart from the pan. Peel, core, and thinly slice the pears. Working as fast as you can so they don't go brown while you are layering them onto the tart.
  • Start layering the pear slices on the tart with the skinny side toward the center and the round part toward the end of which ever end you are starting on. Layer, alternating sides so they overlap in the middle. You should have two rows of pears with a criss cross look in the center. Brush the sugar glaze onto all the exposed areas of the pears. Drizzle with more salted caramel when serving.
Keyword mascarpone cheese, pears, tart recipe

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