Bake a Perfect Pear Tart
A pear tart recipe collection for every home pastry chef
A rustic pear tart to top off Thanksgiving dinner. A refined French pear tart to showcase your home-chef chops. An enchantingly nutty pear almond tart in lieu of the infinitely less interesting pecan or apple pie. Which pear tart recipe will you pick today?
My brother-in-law introduced our family to homemade pear tart a couple of years ago, and at this point it's probably the most requested recipe in his formidable dessert lineup. Here, a best-of list to help you wow your family or guests as much as he did.
Rustic Pear Tart
Can dozens of happy cook-reviewers be wrong? I doubt it. Maybe it's the touch of buttermilk in the crust that sets this dish apart. But even with a premade pie crust, folks say, the results are delicious.
*** Ellie Krieger's recipe for rustic pear tart ***
Funny, I don't necessarily associate Guy Fieri with pastry chefery, but his tart recipe also sounds great. He too uses buttermilk, plus a bit of ginger.
*** Guy Fieri's recipe for rustic pear tart ***
Peeling the pears is optional, suggests one fan of this straightforward recipe:
*** Eating Well's version of rustic pear tart ***
French Pear Tart / Pear Almond Tart
Pear & almond is truly a match made in heaven, and nobody understands that better than the French. Pear almond tart is an absolute classic in French pastry, says Dorie Greenspan, who -- in her intro to this first recipe -- also explains why I love the crust so much. In reality, she says, it's a cookie dough, like the kind used for buttery-beautiful French sables. Add perfect pears and almond cream and, well, how can it get any better?
*** Dorie Greenspan's recipe for pear almond tart ***
Want a cakier take? The lovely photos may lure you toward this blogger's recipe.
*** Kirsten's recipe (My Kitchen In the Rockies) for French pear tart ***
Reporting from Paris, blogger David Lebovitz claims many patisseries there use -- gasp -- canned pears for their tarts. Can it be? Dorie Greenspan also gives a thumbs-up to canned pears. Not sure I'd go that route, but I would try this yummy-sounding recipe.
*** David Lebovitz's recipe for French pear tart ***
(linoleum block art: Savoir-Pear)
Pears are in season from late summer through fall and winter, making them a perfect holiday dessert component. But a rustic pear tart is perfect for any day you can get good pears.
Learn more about pear types and uses. (Spoiler alert: Anjou is the most versatile...)
A high-quality stoneware tart or pie dish makes a tremendous difference in how your crust -- your whole dish, in fact -- comes out. I use and love my Emile Henry pie and tart dishes for desserts and much more, but given the competitive prices (as of fall 2014) on the Le Creuset version and how impressed I've been with my Le Creuset dutch oven, I think this brand's dish is well worth a try too.
This is the classic dish for a thin French tart. Stoneware distributes heat evenly and is a breeze to clean, after you've devoured your dessert.
Any deeper-dish pie will bake like a dream in this one. I use mine for quiches, too, and even braising meat -- just cover tightly with foil, cook "low and slow" in the oven, and the Burgundian clay tenderizes beef beautifully.
~~ how 'bout a pear crumble? ~~
Pressed for time? A pear crumble is almost as delectable as a pear tart (some may even prefer it ... I've had a soft spot for crumbles ever since my dad made them when we were little kids). These easy recipes will please any pear lovers.
*** Simple version - Pear Crumble ***
*** Decadent version - Pear Crumble with Caramel ***
Not only do pears pack vitamin C & fiber, but studies show they may help prevent diabetes, heart disease & cancer. No word on whether butter & sugar offset these benefits, but hey, we'll take good news where we can get it ;)
~ poll! ~
Which do you prefer ...
Almonds or no almonds?
What's your favorite pear tart recipe? Do you make it often, or just for special occasions? Any hints for other home bakers?