What A Beautiful Mess

This pastry isn’t pretty. In fact, I’m pretty sure it borders on “reject,” but it is so simple and so delicious that I love it anyhow.


This isn’t winning any beauty contests, but it tastes excellent.

Full disclosure: I don’t know whether to call it a tart or a pastry or what, since it lost all semblance of neatness or shape when I pulled it out of the oven. Maybe I was a little bit too impatient, and should have let it cool before scooping it onto a plate. Maybe it just didn’t want to be pretty.

The Recipe:
Red Pear and Phyllo Dough Delicious Mess
2 sheets phyllo dough
medium-sized red pear
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
dash of cinnamon

Do This
Preheat the oven to 350.
Slice the red pear to just-slightly-thicker-than-paper thickness on a mandoline. If you’re skilled enough to thin-slice the pear with a knife, do that instead (and go ahead and feel good about it because I certainly can’t!).
Place the sugar and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and nuke for about 30 seconds or until the butter is melted. Shake in just a small dash of cinnamon, and stir together until you have a well-blended, light brown sugary paste.
Stack the two sheets of phyllo dough on top of each other, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place pear slices along one of the short edges of the dough sheets, and layer them along the edge, two “rows” deep. Spoon the sugar-cinnamon-butter mixture on top, and fold the dough over like a soft taco. Or roll it…folding just makes it have a neat edge that will not matter once it falls apart!
Slide the baking sheet into the oven, and bake until the dough is golden-browned, approximately 10-15 minutes. It’s probably a good idea to let the pastry cool for a few minutes, but I’m too impatient to tell you whether that has any effect.
Using a spatula and a fork, move the still-warm pastry onto a plate, mangling it as much as you like (because how it tastes is important, not how it looks, right?).
Serve warm, whipped cream or ice cream optional.

I think I put cinnamon and sugar in this because the red pears look so much like apples, and I may have had apple streudel on the brain. It’s a combo I’m happy with, and the messy-apple-streudel look is totally the next trend in food styling. Eh? Eh?

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3 Responses to “What A Beautiful Mess”

  1. cori Says:

    my theory: it doesn’t need to be pretty as longs as it’s tasty.

  2. RebeccaC Says:

    I have similar results just about everytime I use phyllo dough. It SOUNDS good though. And your camera skills make up for any lack of beauty. We’ve been off our game lately (aka, I’ve either been too impatient to wait for JiT or foced him to snap something before he can eat it). If you can make something this ugly look good, we need to try harder….

  3. Jenny Says:

    Thanks! And the same thing happens to me, too…lots of recipes have been typed up but not posted because they’re missing photos. Sometimes, I just can’t get a good shot before the food gets eaten.


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