Pear Pastilla (Tartlet)
Wash and peel the pears, and cut the flesh in half-inch pieces. Melt a teaspoon of butter in a medium skillet. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the pears, raisins and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the pear pieces are softened. Transfer into a colander over a bowl (to save the cooking juices), and drain for 10 minutes. This can be prepared up to a day ahead.
Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet until golden and fragrant (keep an eye on them so they don't burn) and let cool. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and butter four 4-inch tartlet molds.
Cut one sheet of phyllo dough in four, crosswise. Keep three pieces on your work surface and wrap the leftover phyllo according to package instructions so it won't dry out.
Brush top side of one piece of phyllo lightly with melted butter using a pastry brush. Set the piece carefully into a tartlet mold. Sprinkle the bottom with a little brown sugar. Brush top of a second piece of phyllo with butter, and set atop the first one, setting it at a slight angle from the first. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar. Brush a third piece phyllo with butter and top the previous one, also at an angle. Fill with one fourth of the pear mixture, top with a fourth of the pine nuts, and cover with the overhanging flaps of phyllo. Brush the top with a little more butter and set aside. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make three more pastillas. (Note: You can wrap each pastilla tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to an hour before baking.)
Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Let cool for two minutes, transfer onto four serving plates, and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and a little cinnamon if desired. Serve immediately, on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
You can also reduce the pears' cooking juices until syrupy and dot the plates, using the tip of a spoon handle.
via NRP.org 11/2/05
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