Pear Tart

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

  • 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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32 Comments

  1. Saroja

    This looks delicious! Unfortunately, I’m allergic to nuts. Do you have any suggestions on a substitute for the almond paste / flavor?

    I would use pastry cream perhaps, but then you would have to poach the pears and lay them on top without baking it. Sadly, there is no real replacement for frangipane. ~Garrett

  2. laura

    I realize this is cheating, but do you think this would work well with (thawed) frozen puff pastry? It looks gorgeous!

    You could. Just be sure to prick the bottom of it with a fork to prevent the base of the tart from rising too much. ~Garrett

  3. Kristin

    I make a version of this in the bakery I work in. We use walnuts instead of almond, and apples instead of pears. We glaze it with apricot, and also put more walnuts around the edge as a border (post-baking). Drizzle with a little caramel sauce, and it’s good to go!

  4. Susan

    Question? We are to spread the frangipane in the unbaked frozen crust, right? I see so many recipes that require a par-baked crust I just wanted to clarify. This looks outstanding.

    Yes, though you could pre-bake should you so choose. There are a lot of ways to do this recipe. Some people poach the pears first to make them super soft as well, then reduce the poaching liquid with sugar for a glaze or caramel. ~Garrett

  5. Yana

    Can you post the honey glaze option as well? Is it a simple replacement of honey for the jam, keeping everything else the same? Thanks.

    Just warm 1/4 cup of honey, a scant bit of water, and some spices of your choosing together in a saucepan. Strain and brush on. You’ll be fine. ;) ~Garrett

  6. jill

    Made it last night and it was yummy! Needed to do it in a hurry so I used store-bought gluten-free crusts and omitted the flour in the filling so it was essentially GLUTEN FREE!

    Great idea! ~Garrett

  7. Pamela Huxtable

    I am currently living in Japan and western style pears are hard to come by and not very good when you do find them. We have plenty of delicious nashi – asian pears. Would they work in this recipe?

    I have never seen those pears before. Use any good baking or poaching pear for this recipe. Any variety that’s already very soft won’t bake up very well. If they are really hard, poach them first before cutting and baking. ~Garrett

  8. Claude

    This nice tart is called “Bourdaloue” in French; the same recipe, using apples instead of pears will be an “Alsatian tart”, very popular in North-Eastern France.

    I did not know that. Thanks, Claude. =) ~Garrett

  9. Hannah

    Garrett, your pear tart looks beautiful. I have just picked a huge bag of pears from the fields and have been looking for something to do with them. I made some pear granita last week which was divine, and plan on making some chutney, but I think your peart tart could be a go for a dinner party I have planned. Thank you.

  10. sylviane santi

    Do you have a recipe to make your own almond paste?

    I do not. However, it can be found at most grocery stores in the baking aisle. ~Garrett

  11. Melissa

    This post could not have come at a more perfect time for me. I’m having a dinner party soon and was struggling with dessert ideas. The minute I saw this post, though, I *knew*.

    Thank you, Garrett, and I’ll report back on how mine turns out. :)

    Can’t wait, Melissa! Remember, though, to always do a test run on a new recipe before the night of a dinner party. (Plus, it means one whole tart just for you!) ~Garrett

  12. Vicki B

    This looks simply exquisite! I made my first tart ever during the BlogHer Food Pity party this past weekend. It was so exciting! This one is next on my list.

    Yay! So sorry you couldn’t come but Elise and I hope to meet you next year! ~Garrett

  13. Heather

    I’m thinking of making this with plums. Do you know of any obvious concerns for making the substitution?

    Nope. ~Garrett

  14. Grace

    Thank-you for contributing such a marvelous recipe. Almond paste is not readily available where I live. Is there a recipe we can go to in order to duplicate this ingredient? Many thanks. :)

    I would call around or just order some online. Be sure it’s almond paste and NOT marzipan, which is something else entirely. A quick search online should give you a few options recipe-wise. ~Garrett

  15. Betty

    I have had this as it was a German recipe that my grandmother used to make. I have been looking for this recipe for forever. I do hope I make it like grandma did. Thank you, I am looking foward to making it.

  16. sujatha

    I was looking for some recipes for tarts with apples. This looks so yumm.

    You could totally make this with apples. ~Garrett

  17. Zach K.

    I was just wondering if you had any idea how long this will keep after baking/cooling? Will it hold up fine in the fridge or should I just let it sit at room temperature?

    Pop it in the fridge then bring it to room temperature. I would eat it within a few days because after that the fruit might get odd. ~Garrett

  18. Valeria

    I tried it this afternoon and it is absolutely delicious!! Maybe the topping is a little sweet for me but it´s really great! Thank you!!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. Suzanne

    I made three of these tarts this weekend! One with pears, 2 with apples, all without the glaze (too lazy), all delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

  23. Nancy

    Oh my, this was wonderful! I made this tonight for my husband and myself. (I had made the pate brisee crust the day before.) It really was a simple recipe, if you follow the directions. The taste was far from simple, and really over the top. I wish I had company to share it with, well, maybe not. Thanks for a great recipe!

  24. Melissa

    Actually, Garrett, I’m really glad I did test this first – we ended up not liking it. Or it didn’t come out quite right. Or both. I used all the ingredients specified and followed the instructions to a T but some of the pears were undercooked, the filling was too sweet for our liking and a weird consistency, and the glaze gelled up too fast to really brush it on properly. Just an all around mess that never really came together. Oh well. :) You win some, you lose some. I’m sure it was just me, since others seemed to love it!

    Sounds like the pears were cut too thick. The filling might have simply been a matter of taste. As for the glaze, next time just add a bit more water or liquor to keep it from gelling. ~Garrett

  25. Melissa

    Thanks for the tips. I know I would like this, and was sad it didn’t work out… I’m not all that experienced with baking yet, but, worse, I was baking in a foul mood, which one should never do. I’ll give it another go this holiday season. :)

  26. Elise Lafosse

    Hello, I was hoping to make this this past weekend but the bosc pears I bought on Saturday were quite hard and not ready. I tried to ripen them fast in a paper bag, but they were still hard on Sunday. I am hoping they are not too ripe by this coming weekend. So my question is, how should the pears be for this tart? soft? medium soft? firm? I noticed in the most recent rustic pear tart recipe, Elise wants firm pears, not soft, so that is why I am asking my question here…I am afraid by this weekend, the pears will be too ripe for your tart…then I have to buy more pears that will be firm and make it sometime in the middle of the week which is not convenient for me. Or I can buy some more mid-week this week. Thanks. Elise Lafosse

    Elise, the pears can be any ripeness. If they are hard, I would poach them a bit first to soften them up. Use wine, water, sugar and some lemon for the poaching liquid. Of course, if you want them crispy then don’t poach them. Soft or medium pears shouldn’t need to be poached at all. Soft pears will have a very nice, velvety quality in this tart. =) ~Garrett

  27. Elise Lafosse

    Delicious! I even forgot one ingredient – the almond extract – and it was good. I must have used a 9″ tart pan instead of a 10″ since 3 pears sliced was too much for the tart, but I did not layer like you said and kept it to one layer. We will be enjoying it for the next couple of days. Thank you. Elise Lafosse

    You can have some overlap, you just don’t want thick layers of pear. ~Garrett

  28. pat

    Can I use barlette pears for this recipe?

    That’s fine. ~Garrett

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. Alexandra

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

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