An elegant Pear Tart with frangipane filling is the ultimate flex for the holidays. It looks complicated, but it’s easy to pull off—especially if you prep some of the components ahead of time. Top each slice off with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of apple caramel sauce and a hefty dollop of whipped cream.
Elegant Pear Almond Tart
Pears are an elegant fruit on their own, but poach them and layer them in a frangipane-filled tart and you’ve created an even more elegant dessert. This tart is as three different components, and while it may look intimidating to make, each component is simple to make.
Plus, you can break up the work and make each component ahead of time.
Prep the tart crust dough up to 3 days ahead of time and blind bake the crust up to a day ahead of time. The frangipane (almond filling) can be made up to 3 days in advance and the pears can be poached a day ahead.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Eggs: make sure you use eggs labeled as large to ensure you yield the correct amount of filling. One large egg, out of shell, should weigh 50 grams.
- Heavy cream
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract and almond extract
- All-purpose flour
- Almond flour: use super-fine blanched almond flour. We like Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour.
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- Ground dried ginger
- Ground cardamom
- Apple juice or pear juice: whatever juice you use, just make sure it’s 100% juice.
- Pears: bosc pears are our favorite for pear tarts. They are firm, cook evenly, hold up to poaching very well and not overly sweet. You can also use very firm red or green Anjou pears.
Poaching pears is a simple process that yields a sweet, spiced and tender pear! Here’s how to poach pears.
- Make the poaching liquid by simmering together apple or pear juice, sugar and species.
- Peel and core the pears. I like to use my Opinel peeler for this because you can do both with just one tool! It has sharp blades which makes it easy to peel just the skin and none of the flesh. And the pointed, narrow tip makes easy work of coring.
- Add the pears to the simmering juice and poach, turning occasionally, until pears are tender but still offer some resistance when a toothpick is inserted. You don’t want them to be totally soft since they will also be getting baked! (Regular poached pears can cook a but longer if you plan to serve them on their own with a sauce.)
- Gently transfer the pears to a bowl and bring the juice to a boil. Reduce the juice until it’s deep amber in color, syrupy and measures ¾ cup.
Technically called frangipane, the almond filling for this tart is simple, sweet and perfectly flavored with almond. Here’s how to make it:
- Use a food processor to make quick work of the process! (You don’t even need to wash the bowl after making the tart crust dough—the ingredients are similar and it will work just fine!)
- Process together the almond flour, sugar and salt then add an egg, an egg white (reserve the yolk for the crust), almond and vanilla. Process again until the mixture is smooth.
- Add butter and process until the butter is completely incorporated and no lumps remain—depending on the temperature of the butter, this can be rather quick or may take about a minute.
- Transfer the filling to a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the filling. Store the filling in the refrigerator until ready to use. Frangipane can be refrigerated for up to 3 days!
We use our go-to tart crust recipe for this pear tart because it’s simple, crisp in texture and adds a buttery bite without taking over. We tested this recipe with our whole-wheat olive oil tart crust (which we use in our cranberry tart) and it just doesn’t work. It’s too bold in flavor and overpowers the filling and poached pears.
- In a small bowl, whisk together an egg yolk (reserve the white for the almond filling), creamy and vanilla extract. Set this aside for a minute.
- Process the flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor to combine then scatter the chilled butter over top and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
- With the processor running, add the yolk mixture and process until a dough just comes together.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into an 11-inch circle.
- Gently transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently coax the dough into the pan, pressing lightly into the corners and up the sides. Trim any excess dough overhang.
- Freeze the dough-lined tart pan until solid then line with two layers of foil and fill with baking weights (or dried beans).
- Blind bake the tart crust until the edges are set and starting to brown. Remove the foil and weights and bake for a bit more just until the base of the tart crust is dry to touch.
- Allow the crust to cool before moving onto the assembly.
The best part! It’s time to assemble!
- Cut the pears in half lengthwise then cut crosswise into thin strips.
- Spread the cooled frangipane into the cooled tart crust before arranging the pears over top (cut side down).
- Bake the tart until the almond filling is set and starting to brown.
How to Serve
Let the tart cool to room temperature before slicing and serving. Serve each slice with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, a drizzle of the apple caramel, and whipped cream!
Expert Tips From the Test Kitchen
- It’s important to frequently rotate the pears as they poach. This will ensure even cooking so you don’t end up with an over-cooked side and an under-cooked side.
- Poach the pears in a saucepan—not a sauté pan. Use a saucepan that can comfortably fit 3 pears while also being sure they are almost fully submerged in the poaching liquid.
- Do not fill the tart crust with the almond filling when the tart crust is still warm. It will warm the frangipane and make it soupy which will cause the pears to sink and disappear underneath the filling.
Will Canned Pears Work in This?
Canned pears will likely be too soft for this tart. Since the pears also get baked, it’s possible canned pears will over-soften and almost become mushy in the tart. Because of that, I do not recommend using canned pears.
For this tart, the best type of pears to use are Bosc. Red and green Anjou will also work.
A 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom is what you need for this recipe.
The tart is baked at 350ºF while the tart crust is blind baked at 375ºF.
Use blanched almond flour for this peart tart recipe.
I do! This is my favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe. We haven’t tested it as a tart crust recipe, but it works great for pies and quiches.
Yes, the tart crust needs to be blind baked before it’s cooled, filled and baked again.
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- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are a quintessential fall dessert! Soft, pillowy pumpkin cookies sandwich a boozy sweet filling that is truly to die for.
Pear Tart Recipe
- 1 cup (110g) almond flour
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon (16g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- ¾ teaspoon pure almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cups 100% apple juice or pear juice
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 Red d’Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled and cored
- Whisk egg yolk, cream, and vanilla together in bowl. Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter chilled butter over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 10 pulses. With processor running, add yolk mixture and process until dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.
- Roll dough into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, letting excess dough hang over edge. Ease dough into pan by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into corners and fluted sides of pan with your other hand (make sure edges are about ¼-inch thick). Run rolling pin over top of pan to remove any excess dough.
- Wrap dough-lined pan loosely in plastic, place on a large plate, and freeze until dough is chilled and firm, about 30 minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Set dough-lined tart pan on baking sheet, discard plastic and line with a double layer of aluminum foil, covering edges to prevent burning but not tucking under pan; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust until golden brown and set, 20–25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
- Remove weights and foil and bake until base of crust is dry to touch; about 5 minutes more.
- Transfer crust to a wire rack to cool; decrease oven temperature to 350ºF.
- Process almond flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 10 seconds.
- Add egg and egg white, almond and vanilla extracts; process until combined, about 10 seconds.
- Add butter and process until no lumps remain, about 20 seconds. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula and process to combine thoroughly, about 10 seconds more.
- Transfer frangipane to a bowl; press a piece of plastic wrap onto surface of frangipane. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- (Can be refrigerated in airtight container up to 3 days. Before using, let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes to soften; stirring it a few times to loosen the mixture up.)
- For pears, combine apple, sugar, cardamom, and ginger in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer over medium. Add pears, bring back to a simmer then reduce to a low simmer and cook, turning occasionally to ensure even poaching, until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part is met with light resistance, this can take anywhere from 20–40 minutes depending on type and size of pears, size of saucepan and heat. Some pears may be done before others—remove and transfer them to a bowl as they are finished cooking.
- Remove saucepan from heat; gently remove pears to a bowl. Bring poaching liquid to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is a deep amber color, reaches 230ºF, and measures ¾ cup, 15–25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Spread frangipane into pre-baked tart crust.
- Cut pears in half lengthwise then cut crosswise into thin slices. Arrange pear slices over top of frangipane.
- Bake tart at 350ºF until golden, 40–50 minutes.
- Transfer tart to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Optional: dust tart with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream and apple caramel sauce.