Pear and Almond Tart

This almond and pear tart is a classic French pastry. Sometimes the pears are simply halved, but it looks more attractive if they are sliced.–Laura Washburn

LC Multilingual Recipe Note

Though French in origin, this tart knows no bounds in terms of its appeal. We consider it a truly multilingual recipe. The only trick is, not everyone has an 11-inch rectangular tart pan. Though we swoon to the sleek elongated lines of this pear tart, this recipe also works quite admirably in a good old 8- or 9- or 10-inch round tart pan. See? Multilingual. Or something like that. You know what we mean.

Special Equipment: 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (see LC Note above)

Pear Tart with Almonds Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 6

Ingredients

  • For the pastry dough
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan and the work surface
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
  • For the pear and almond filling
  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) ground almonds or almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thickly sliced into wedges
  • Vanilla ice cream, homemade or store-bought, to serve

Directions

  • Make the pastry dough
  • 1. Place the flour, sugar, butter, and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is just combined (somewhere between 5 and 10 pulses). Add 4 tablespoons water and pulse just until the dough holds together. If necessary, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse just until the dough begins to clump. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • 2. Let the dough rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Butter and lightly flour an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  • 3. Roll out the pastry dough on a floured work surface to a circle slightly larger than the tart pan. Transfer the dough to the pan, allowing the excess to hang over the edges of the pan. Gently press the dough into the pan. Roll a rolling pin over the top, using the edge of the pan as a cutting surface, and let the excess pastry fall away. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • 4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  • 5. Prick the pastry all over with the tines of a fork, line it with parchment paper, and fill with baking weights. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and weights and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until golden. Let cool to room temperature before filling.
  • Make the pear and almond filling
  • 6. Decrease the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
  • 7. In a bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat with a handheld or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the almonds, flour, and vanilla seeds or extract and mix just until combined. Spoon the filling into the partially baked pastry shell and smooth the surface.
  • 8. Arrange the pear slices on top of the almond mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Erin W.

Oct 02, 2013

If you’re looking for a not too sweet but thoroughly rich dessert, this is a perfect choice. The subtle flavors of the almond and pear are perfect complements to one another and provide a sophisticated stage for vanilla ice cream. To cut down on prep time, I used Trader Joe’s ground almond meal. I believe most any pear variety would work well with this recipe—I used Forelle pears—so long as you start with a fairly firm ripe pear so it doesn’t disintegrate in the oven. Also, I think you could easily substitute your favorite pastry dough for the base—maybe even a shortbread if you want to up the sweetness a bit. I would’ve made the pastry a tad sweeter given that the filling is really subtle in flavor. I used closer to 6 tablespoons water for the pastry dough.

Testers Choice
Carrie S.

Oct 02, 2013

Pears and almonds are a fabulous combination, and this tart blends the two ingredients well. The crust is lightly sweet and not too thick, and the tart filling has enough almond flavor yet doesn’t overpower the pears. I used ripe Bartlett pears and the tenderness of the pear worked well with this tart. I cut the pears in both thick and thin slices. I preferred the thinner slices that were placed together more closely than the thicker slices. It was also somewhat easier to arrange the pears into a pretty pattern with the thinner slices. The pears don’t really take on much color and a less ripe pear may still be a little raw in the middle if it’s sliced on the thicker side. I had some extra filling left over and made a small crustless tart; it was also delicious and perfect for when I wanted something a little less sweet. When I initially tried the tart, I thought it needed a little more almond flavor, but after trying the tart when it’d cooled to room temperature I thought it was fine as is. In the pastry crust, I used 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and found that to be sufficient. I ended up using closer to 5 tablespoons water to get the pastry dough to stick together more easily.

Comments
Comments
  1. Stu Borken says:

    This almond cake brought to mind a cake which I have made and which has Scandinavian origins. It was brought to a church basement potluck and the recipe was left without any identification of who brought it, so it was named Fairy Godmother Cake.

    Fairy Godmother Cake
    A halfround loaf pan, 5 cups, also called a Rehruckenform, 30cm pan.
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup sweet butter, room temperature
    8 ounces almond paste
    3 eggs
    1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    1/2 c cup flour
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder

    Cream butter and almond paste together, and blend in sugar until evenly mixed. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Blend in Grand Marnier and almond extract. In another bowl, sift flour and baking powder together, then fold dry ingredients into the wet batter. Pour cake batter into a 9-inch greased and floured cake pan. Bake about 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees (cake should be firm on top). Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn cake out of the pan and on to a cake rack to finish cooling. The cake may be dusted with powdered sugar, or served plain with a raspberry sauce underneath. To make raspberry sauce, combine 1 quart fresh berries or 12 ounces frozen berries and 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier. Puree in a food processor, then strain to remove seeds. Sweeten with sugar if necessary. This cake serves 8 or 9 (it’s very rich).

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Stu, what a lovely story! This must be some cake in order to earn the title Fairy Godmother Cake. Can’t wait to hear from anyone who makes it. As always, many thanks for taking the time to share. Love this.

    • Fernando says:

      Dear Stu Borken, what a very nice recipe! As I am very fond of almons (but pastry-shy to put it mildly!) your recipe, fairy godmother or no fairy godmother included, was fine for me. I also had a look at your site which is full of very nice recipes.

  2. Dennis says:

    What a wonderful blog. I’m a huge fan of “Cooking With Mr. C.” I have now added you to my favorites. Dennis :)

    • Beth Price says:

      Thanks so much for adding us to your favorites, Dennis. Now you can cook with “Mr. D” (David)!

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