I love cooking but I am not a baker or pastry person, unless we are talking about consuming it. Then, I am all about dessert and pastries but don’t ask me to bake them.
In preparation for this Fennel Friday, I found a recipe for a Creamy Gorgonzola, Fennel & Pear Tart that called to me from the blog: Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy. I fell in love and immediately enlisted the aid of my biz partner Beverly aka The Healthy Goddess for assistance with the tart part. Not only is she healthy but she is a baker!
A Girls Night Christmas Party occurred this week and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out the recipe and get a recipe in for Fennel Friday – 2 for 1!
And it worked beautifully. Really. But you may be wondering why there are no finished tart pictures. Allow me to explain.
I did the tart in a round dish and we used the crescent roll dough from Pilsbury since the sheets were not available. Seemed like this would work but it did not pop out so neatly and I ended up scooping servings onto plates and handing them out. By the time I turned around, my photo opps were … gone. NO JOKE. They ate them. Not a sound was heard, I was busy and the plates were practically licked clean while I washed my hands and grabbed the camera.
The combo of ingredients in this recipe is rich and decadent – oozing gorgonzola and mascarpone, crunchy fennel and onion, the tang of tarragon and the sweet of the pears and then the satisfying texture from the crust. I will use this combo again. I will NOT cook it for my friends until they sign releases ensuring I get my pics before they eat.
Keep the butter light – there is a slight tendency for some oil to gather on the top due to the cheeses but cooking it long enough and not overusing the butter should take care of that!
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 8 ounces Gorgonzola dolce at room temperature
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 fennel bulbs, white part only, thinly sliced (fronds reserved)
- 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
- 1 tbsp fennel pollen
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 fresh pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (any kind of pears will do.)
- 1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Dough (I used the dough from the rolls)
- 2 tbsp fennel fronds, chopped for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine mascarpone and Gorgonzola in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, parsley and tarragon and saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Roll out crescent dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing together any perforations. Trim any edges that hang over the edges. I used a rectangular pan, but you can use any tart pan you like.
- Spread the cheese mixture into the tart pan in an even layer.
- Spread fennel mixture evenly over the cheese layer, and top with sliced pears.
- Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
- Cool for about 10 minutes and remove tart from the pan. Sprinkle fennel fronds on top.
- Slice and serve.