Though French in origin, this classic pear almond tart knows no bounds in terms of its appeal. While we appreciate the taste and that’s what prompts us to make it again and again, we also swoon to the sleek elongated lines of the tart. [Editor’s Note: The only trick to recreating them at home is not everyone has a 13-inch rectangular tart pan like the one shown in the photo above. Thankfully this recipe also works quite admirably in a good old 9-inch round tart pan.]  Sometimes the pears are simply halved, but it looks more attractive if they are sliced.–Laura Washburn

Pear Almond Tart FAQs

What are the best types of pears to use for this tart?

Select firm, ripe pears that will stand up to baking. Bosc or Anjou would work well here.

How should I serve this tart?

This classic French dessert requires no more than a dollop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of heavy cream.

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A rectangular tart with wedges of pear baked into it in a rectangular tart pan.

Pear Almond Tart

5 / 5 votes
This pear and almond tart, made with pears, ground almonds, and a sweet pastry dough, is a classic French dessert. Easy yet elegant. A terrific fall dessert recipe.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories606 kcal
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time2 hours


  • 13-by-4-inch (33-by-10-cm) rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom or 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom


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 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 unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (3 1/2 oz) ground almonds or almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thickly sliced into wedges
  • Vanilla ice cream, homemade or store-bought, to serve


Make the pastry dough

  • 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 when squeezed with your fingers.
  • Wrap the dough in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Let the dough rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Butter and lightly flour an 13-by-4-inch (33-by-10-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom or an 9-inch (23-cm) round tart pan with a removable bottom.
  • 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.
  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  • 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 uniformly golden with no shiny spots remaining. Let cool to room temperature before filling.

Make the pear and almond filling

  • Decrease the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat with a handheld or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. 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.
  • Arrange the pear slices on top of the almond mixture. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until puffed, golden, and almost dry to the touch. Let cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


  1.  Use caution when adding extra water–If too much water is added to the crust, it can become very hard when baked. If you need to add extra water after the initial 4 tablespoons, pinch the dough with your fingers after each additional tablespoon to see if it holds together.
Cinnamon, Spice and Warm Apple Pie

Adapted From

Cinnamon, Spice & Warm Apple Pie

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 606 kcalCarbohydrates: 61 gProtein: 10 gFat: 38 gSaturated Fat: 18 gMonounsaturated Fat: 8 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 132 mgSodium: 223 mgFiber: 6 gSugar: 27 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Ryland Peters & Small. Photo © 2010 Peter Cassidy. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

If you’re looking for a not too sweet but thoroughly rich dessert, this pear almond tart recipe 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.

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. To cut down on prep time, I used Trader Joe’s ground almond meal.

Pears and almonds are a fabulous combination, and this pear almond 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 pear 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.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I just discovered that my 9-inch round pan grew to 11 inches! Since the 13×4-inch pan is 52 sq. inches, and the 11-inch round pan is 95 sq. inches, is it okay if I use the 11-inch pan, and double the recipe, since the surface area is almost double? Can I assume that the baking times for the dough and the filling are the same as the recipe, since the thickness of the dough and filling will be about the same if I double the recipe but put it in a larger pan?

    I’m also confused as to which round pan size to use for the recipe as written (not doubled), since it says 9-inch size in the Equipment section, and 11-inch size in the Instructions section.

    1. Carol, I’m confused. The equipment list and step 3 in the instructions call for a 9-inch round pan.I don’t see any mention of an 11-inch round pan.

      When measuring pans, it’s best to go by capacity. A 9 x 1-inch tart pan = about 4 cups. An 11 x 1-inch tart part = about 7 cups. If you choose to double the recipe, you will have to bake it longer, because the middle of the tart will take longer to set up because the diameter is larger. You also will have some dough and filling left over.

  2. I’m confused about the size of the pans. The area of a 13×4″ pan is 56 sq. in. And the area of a 9″ round pan is 64 sq. in. Why wouldn’t this work with the recipe as written?

    1. Carol, it should work fine with either type of pan. The thickness of the crust might differ a little but we’ve had readers make it successfully with both sizes.

  3. Luckily enough, I do have the rectangular pan 🙂 I will try this recipe during the weekend. One question though: Can I replace the pear, say, with apples or any other fruit? I do have a receipt for apple frangipane tart (that calls for pie crust, frangipane filling/almond meal filling and apples), hence my question if pears can be replaced. Thank you for sharing such a joy to the eye (and mouth for sure) recipe.

    1. Hi Hala, although we didn’t test this recipe using apples, I bet they would be great. Please let us know how the apples worked out, we are curious!