Roasted Pear, Shallot & Cumin Tartlets

Take your appetizers from the usual to the unexpected with these individual tartlets that feature sweet Ontario pears as the star. With a few simple pantry items, frozen mini tartlet shells, cheese and fresh delicious pears, these elegant bite-sized morsels can be prepared in a flash.

18 prepared frozen mini-tartlet shells, par-baked as per package instructions
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated old Canadian cheddar
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, divided
2 ripe Ontario pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) 1/2-inch (1 cm) diced shallots
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Place baked tart shells on a baking sheet. Divide the cheddar evenly among the tart shells and set aside for later use.

In a skillet (with an oven-proof handle) over medium high heat, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) of butter and gently sauté the pear slices until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the pears to a plate and set aside.

Heat same skillet over medium-high heat and add remaining butter, shallots and sugar. Sauté the shallots until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes, and add the vinegar, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Add pears to the mixture and gently stir to combine all of the flavours. Remove from heat.

Divide the pear and shallot mixture evenly among the cheese-lined tart shells. Bake for approximately 7 to 10 minutes, until warm and cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Makes 18 tartlets.

Per Serving: (1 tartlet): about 105 cal, 2 g pro, 6 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 11 g carb, .79 g fibre, 7 mg chol, 110 mg sodium. % RDI: 3% calcium, 4% iron, 3% vit A, 2% vit C, 4% folate.