Pear and Almond Tart
Ready to tackle a classic French pastry? This showstopping pear tart not only looks fantastic, it tastes incredible too. We’ll teach you how to make a pate sucree (or sweet dough), homemade frangipane and perfectly poached pears, but feel free to swap in your favorite in-season firm fruit for this one.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Pate Sucree “Sweet Dough”
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
- ½ cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 ½ cup (20 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 large egg
- Kosher salt
Crème D’amandes “Frangipane”
- ½ cup (4 ounce) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (4 ounce) confectioners sugar
- ½ cup (4 ounce) almond flour
- 1-2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon rum (dark or clear)
- 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
Poires “Poached Pears”
- 3-4 D’Anjou or Bosc or Bartlett, peeled, cored and quartered
- 1 quart water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon rum (dark or clear)
- Confectioners sugar
- Apricot Glaze
- The dough can be made 24 hours in advance
- Poached pears can be made 24 hours in advance
- Substitute all-purpose flour for cup4cup gluten-free flour
- Pie weight substitutes: dried beans, rice, lentils, or granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- To make the pate sucree: In a food processor pulse together the butter, sugar and flour just until combined then add the vanilla, lemon zest, egg and a pinch of salt. Pulse just until everything is combined.
- Transfer the dough to the counter and form into a round disc; wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is cooling, poach the pears: In a large saucepan combine the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add pears; poach for 10 to 20 minutes, until the pears are just soft (check by inserting a paring knife- it should go in easily).
- Remove from the heat, strain off the poaching liquid (you can save this for other uses) and let the pears cool. When ready to use, slice the pears into ¼ inch slices.
- Roll out the chilled dough to ¼ to ½ inch thick circle (or the shape of your tart pan) and gently place in a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Carefully use your knuckle to push the dough into the bottom edge of the pan and any ridges it might have. Use a fork to gently poke several holes on the surface of the tart dough. Cover the top of the dough directly with foil or parchment paper, add pie weights and bake the crust at 375°F degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the foil or parchment with the pie weights (be careful, they’re hot!) and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool to room temperature before adding frangipane and poached pears.
- To make the frangipane: In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter and confectioners sugar by mixing together on low speed with the paddle attachment. Add 2 ounces of the almond flour and mix; add the egg and mix. Add the remaining 2 ounces of almond flour, the cornstarch, almond or vanilla extract, rum and mix until combined. Keep the frangipane in a bowl lined with plastic wrap in the freezer until ready to use.
- To assemble the tart: Turn your oven on to 350°F. Place the pre-baked tart shell in the tart pan on a baking sheet and fill with the frangipane, spreading into an even layer with an offset spatula.
- Place the poached pears on a few paper towels to help soak up any excess poaching liquid, which will help prevent it from seeping into the frangipane. Using a spatula, carefully lift each sliced pear half and place on the frangipane, with the narrow end of the pear facing the center of the tart, fanning the slices apart. Be sure to space them evenly around the tart.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the frangipane has risen substantially around the pears and is deep golden brown in color.
- While the tart is baking, make the rum whipped cream by pouring heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla into a cold bowl and whisk on high until medium to stiff peaks form. Taste and set in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.
- Brush the top of the tart with apricot glaze while it is still hot (or sprinkle confectioners sugar over the tart once cool).
- Serve and enjoy.