Pear Almond Tart

This pear almond tart, made with pears, ground almonds, and a sweet pastry dough, is a classic French dessert. Easy yet elegant. A terrific autumn recipe.

A pear almond tart in a rectangular tart pan on a wooden board.

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 11-inch round tart pan.]  Sometimes the pears are simply halved, but it looks more attractive if they are sliced. Originally published October 2, 2013.Laura Washburn

Pear Almond Tart

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 35 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 6
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Special Equipment: 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
  • For the pear and almond filling


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. 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 11-inch (28-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 golden. 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. 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 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

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


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  1. 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!

    1. Hi NRS, almond meal (which the recipe calls for) is a coarser grind made from raw almonds that usually still have their skins, as opposed to almond flour which is more finely ground and made from blanched almonds. I did a quick search to try and locate a pan for you and found 11 inch tart pans on Ebay. Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks Beth! The only 11-inch pans I’m seeing on Ebay are 11-by-7-inch pans. Is that what you were thinking? Just seems wider than your picture above. But let me know if that is better than using a 9-inch round for this.

        1. NRS, you’re right, the pans you found on Ebay are wider than the photo above. The original recipe, which is shown in the photo above, called for a 13-by-4-inch tart pan. Because we had a difficult time tracking this down, and figured our readers would, too, we substituted an 11-inch round tart pan when we tested the recipe. I’m sorry for the confusion and hope this clarification helps. I’ve amended the recipe above to make this clear. You could make it in a 9-inch round tart pan, as you suggested, but I suggest you not use quite all the crust mixture so that the crust doesn’t turn out too thick and, hence, underdone. Kindly let us know how it goes!

          1. Made the tart today, and it was yum!!! May consider 10 inch round next time, but it did work just fine in my 9 inch round. I used my usual pate sablee rather than the above recipe for the crust. Thanks!

  2. Love the look of this in the rectangular pan. I only have a rectangular tart pan that is 11 1/2 x 8, along with 9 and 10 inch round tart pans. The rectangular one is much wider than your picture. For narrow rectangular sized tart pans, I am only finding 13 3/4 x 4 1/4. What would you suggest I go with? Or can you guide me as to where I might find your ideal rectangular sized one?


  3. The first thing I did after baking this tart, other than falling in love, was to place this recipe in a protective plastic sleeve, and put it in FRONT of the existing recipe. Bravo!

    My husband’s words were, “This is exquisite.”

    First, let me applaud the crust. Thrown in a food processor, whirled a few times, and tossed into the refrigerator. What could be easier? It’s wonderfully flaky, and yet has just enough crunch to hold together, unlike many tarts that quickly become soggy with their crepe paper-like crust.

    I just happen to have a rectangular tart pan that I’ve had for a number of months, which I purchased specifically for this very recipe. I finally got around to using it, and am so pleased.

    Once the pears on our tree began to ripen, it was time to pull it all together. Such an attractive, delicious tart! I would not hesitate to serve this tart anywhere, to anyone.

    There was about 1/4 cup filling which I held back from the pan, as I was afraid it would overflow once the pears were pressed into place.

    Thank you. As always, superb and worthy of a repeat performance.

    1. What a lovely comment to find waiting, Karen. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to let us know. We’re geeked beyond words that you find this tart to be as exquisite as we feel it is, and that you’d invest in a piece of equipment for one of recipes. Can’t wait to hear which recipe from the site you set your sights on next…

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