Pear Tart

Delicate and delicious pear tart, thinly sliced Bosc pears arranged over frangipane almond paste, glazed with apricot jam, in an all-butter crust.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Simply Recipes guest author Garrett McCord prepared this lovely pear tart for us the other day. Perfect for the season and absolutely addictive. Enjoy! ~Elise

There are certain staple recipes every home baker should have in their repertoire: a rich chocolate cake good for any occasion, a go-to cookie for cravings and fund raisers, a tarte tartin for those extravagant dinner parties. Undoubtedly, a pear tart must be included in this list. While is may look intimidating the recipe is quite simple: Bosc pears are smartly laid out over a layer of frangipane (a fancy name for almond filling) on a pâte brisée crust. The entire thing is then brushed with a bit of apricot jam or honey glaze. The result is a posh pear dessert that will leave eaters in a quiet hush as they savor each ornate, little bite. Perfect for out-of-town guests or finishing a family meal.

Pear Tart Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients

Crust:

Filling:

  • 1/3 cup almond paste (not marzipan)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 3 large Bosc pears
  • lemon juice

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • piece of lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons Reisling or water

Method

1 Prepare the pâte brisée crust. Roll it out to a 13-inch circle and press it into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (if you don't have a tart pan, a pie plate is just fine). Fit the dough into the edges and then trim off the excess dough leaning over the top. Put the crust in the freezer to chill for a half hour. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2 To prepare the frangipane beat together the almond paste and sugar to break it apart. Beat in the butter. Mix in the egg, flour, salt, and almond extract and beat until light and fluffy. Don't fret if there are a few little chunks of almond paste. Also, don't worry if it seems like you didn't make enough as the frangipane will rise during baking.

3 Peel and core the pears, and then slice them thinly, about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Places the slices in a bowl with the lemon juice to help preserve their color.

4 Spread the frangipane over the bottom of the tart shell. Next, carefully arrange the pear slices in a decorative pattern (they can slightly overlap, but don't build them up in layers or the tart will lack a refined appearance). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pears take on a bit of color and the edges of the tart shell are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

5 While the tart bakes, place the apricot jam, lemon peel, vanilla extract, and water or Riesling into a small sauce pan and warm over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, constantly stirring. Once it has reduced and thickened take it off the heat and set it aside. Once the tart is out of the oven brush the apricot glaze over the pears. Serve.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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Showing 4 of 31 Comments

  • Sheryl

    Hello. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe. I’ve made this recipe twice now. I made it for an Easter dinner; by the end of the night there remained only one little piece left! I thought it came out okay, it was simple. I wish there could be a way to make the flavors a bit richer or more complex. Thank you again, I had fun preparing this recipe both times; I really enjoyed thinly slicing the pears and arranging them in the dish.

  • Tim Short

    I made this pear tart today while the Christmas turkey was in the oven. Wow–it was great. The pear-almond pairing provides a wonderful blend of subtle flavors! Used 6 pears and worked them into a really nice 3-layered fan shape. Slicing the pears thinly made this easy. This recipe is now in the “to die for” file. Thanks for the recipe and fail-safe directions!

  • Amy at TastiWave

    I tried baking this over Canadian thanksgiving and have to say that my kids absolutely loved it. This is a must try for those who stumble across this divine recipe. Thanks!

  • Susan

    This tart is fabulous! I had exactly the right amount of almond paste left over from another recipe and couldn’t resist making this tart. I used some jonagold apples instead of the pears because that’s what I had. They cooked up so nice and tender (I was worried). I melted some apple jelly to glaze the top and that worked out well, too. Thanks for this, Garret and Elise. Excellent tart, will make again.

  • rosi

    Why can’t I use marzipan? Where I live I can’t get almond paste, but marzipan in every store.

    Almond paste is made of sugar, water, and almonds, which are then cooked until smooth. Marzipan is made of almond paste, sugar and egg whites. It’s sweeter, more pliable, and used for cake decoration or candy. It doesn’t bake very well. ~Garrett

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Pear Tart