Pear Tart

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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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Showing 4 of 33 Comments

  • 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!

  • Alexandra

    I had a question. Do you think pie would freeze well if frozen until Christmas?

  • Steven

    There was nothing light or flaky about this crust. You should ABSOLUTELY pre-bake it. It just tasted like goo. I have made countless tarts and pies and never had a crust turn out this badly. Though I do (almost) always bake my crust first. Other than that, the tart was nice. Also, for those asking, here is a recipe for almond paste if it is not readily available. I just put the almonds in the food processor to grind.
    http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html

  • Vivien

    Hi, I loved your recipe and would like to make it into mini-tarts for Xmas. I am hoping to prepare in advance, I got few questions.
    1. How long can baked tart shells be kept in fridge without affecting it’s texture or going all soft? (just plain tart shells, no toppings)
    2. I would like to coat a chocolate layer on tart shells? How long can I store in fridge after that? I can just coat with warm melted chocolate right? Is milk or dark chocolate better?
    3. After I filled tarts with custard, fruits and glazed them, how long can they be stored in fridge without going all soggy?
    4. Do I only apply glaze on fruits only or also edges of tart shells too?

    Thank you so much. I have been looking online for answers and no luck.. Please help.

    1. Keep them in the freezer. Much easier. May need to increase the baking time a bit though after.

    2. Choose whatever chocolate you like, but unless you temper it it won’t freeze or chill well for long periods of time.

    3. About a day or two.

    4. Just the fruit and topping, not the shell.

    ~Garrett

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