Smart Staple: Keep a box of puff pastry, which is the base for the sundae puffs, stashed in the freezer and you'll always be ready to make a decadent dessert. You can use any kind of fruit that's in season.
The berries should look as though they have simply tumbled onto the tart, so don't be fussy when arranging them on the custard filling. Recipe adapted with permission from "Williams-Sonoma Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen," copyright 2009 by Maria Helm Sinskey and Williams-Sonoma, published by Weldon Owen, San Francisco.
Any variety of firm-ripe pears works in this recipe, but Anjou will hold up especially well when poached. You will need a kitchen torch or a broiler setting on your oven to finish off the tart; the crackly sugar layer has just the right crunch over the soft fruit and creamy filling.