Almond Pear Tart
I am not sure if it is because I watched every episode of Julia Child and Martha Stewart growing up, but I definitely have an affinity to French Cuisine and French Pastries. It is no wonder that when I was looking to learn baking/pastry, I immediately signed up for The French Pastry School’s L’Art de la Patisserie Certificate program.
What makes French pastries so delicious? The French know how to get the most out of each ingredient and the pastries are typically made with European Style Butter that has at least 82% butterfat. I always use European butter (Plugra when I can find it) for all of my cooking and baking. You can read the label to find out the butterfat content. In a pinch, I substitute Amish Butter Roll. I have seen that with an 84% butterfat content.
One of my favorite pastries is the Almond Pear Tart. Pears and fall are a match made in heaven! Pear season begins when Bartlett pears are harvested in late summer. Bosc and Comice pears are in season in the fall through winter. The Anjou is considered a winter pear.
This tart is made with a wonderful shortcrust pastry (pâte sablée) tart shell, almond frangipane, and of course, using the right pears for baking. It is such a comforting fall dessert and delicious when slightly warm. This tart works well plain or topped with a vanilla bean or an artisan ice cream.
When using pears for desserts, it is best to use Anjou or Bartlett (a.k.a. Williams’ Pear) pears for their texture. They will remain firm and smooth. I have also used Bosc pears and they held up fine as well. Select ripe pears that are firm but not rock-hard. They should have a good fragrance, and are smooth and unblemished with their stems still attached.
This classic French pastry can also be made with canned pears if needed. Just be aware, not all canned pears will deliver the flavor as fresh ripe pears. You will also need to drain them very well to prevent a soggy tart.
While this tart looks elegant and somewhat fancy, it really is easy to make. You are probably thinking what is an Almond Frangipane? An Almond Frangipane is a sweet filling made from or flavored with almonds. Isn’t this to complicated for the home cook to make? Not at all! I promise it is very simple. Read everything carefully. I have notes throughout. Concentrate on each part of the recipe and voila you will have a beautiful dessert that is sure to impress.
Additional Ingredient Notes:
Almond Bakery Emulsion When it comes to flavoring, professional bakers use emulsions over alcohol-based extracts. The flavors are more robust and won’t “bake-out” when exposed to heat.
NOTE: Manufacturers of almond flour have different textures. For a French pastry fine or extra-fine is best. If you find one that is a thicker texture, pulse it in a food processor or spice grinder but make sure you don’t turn it into a paste.
APRICOT GLAZE: I did not add the apricot glaze to the top of the tart. If you would like to add it, in a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup apricot jam and 2 Tablespoons warm water. Stir until the jam melts and becomes thinner. Pass through a strainer if needed and brush the top of the tart with the glaze.
Did you make and enjoy this fabulous Almond Pear Tart recipe? Please give it your review below and tag me on Instagram with your wonderful photos!
Pâte Sablée Tart Crust
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup fine almond flour
- 4 1/2 Tablespoons 10x confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick European style butter, cold and thinly sliced (82% butterfat)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond bakery emulsion (or extract)
- 1 egg
- Step 1 In your mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, add the unbleached all-purpose flour, the fine almond flour, sifted confectioners’ sugar, kosher salt and cold butter that has been thinly sliced.
- Step 2 Mix on a low speed until you get a nice sandy consistency.
- Step 3 Add the egg and the almond bakery emulsion (or extract).
- Step 4 Mix until all ingredients are just incorporated. Do not over mix or your pastry will become tough. Dough should be a sandy consistency that will hold together.
- Step 5 Remove from the bowl, form and shape into a disc. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Step 6 The next day, remove from the refrigerator. Let sit for one hour to come to room temperature.
- Step 7 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and place your tart ring on top. Set aside.
- Step 8 Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out (no flour needed) until it is 1/4 inch thick and the diameter that you need. Lift off the parchment paper and lay back down (both sides) throughout. This will ensure you can continue to roll the dough without any tension.
- Step 9 Once you have the size and shape that you need with an overhang, place the dough into the tart ring.
- Step 10 Press the dough into the side. Be sure to get it as even as possible. Go around several times.
- Step 11 Trim the dough off of the top of the ring.
- Step 12 To blind bake the tart shell, crumble up a sheet of parchment paper. Smooth it out and place it over the dough, making sure it adheres to the bottom and sides of the dough.
- Step 13 Prick the bottom of the tart with the parchment paper attached with a paring knife.
- Step 14 Add in ceramic pie weights, beans or rice up to the top of the ring.
- Step 15 Bake until lightly golden brown on the sides and the bottom is dry.
NOTE: The tart ring I used was 8.2 inches in diameter which allows for 4 pear halves to be used.
- 1 stick European style butter, softened (82% butterfat)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 of a lemon, zest only
- 1 teaspoon almond bakery emulsion (or extract)
- 1/2 cup fine almond flour
- 1 Tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- Step 1 In a mixer bowl with the whip attachment, whip the butter and sugar.
- Step 2 Gradually add the eggs, egg yolk, lemon zest and almond bakery emulsion (or extract) and whip until incorporated.
- Step 3 Switch to the paddle attachment, add the almond flour and flour and mix on low speed until well incorporated.
Almond Pear Tart
- 1 pre-baked tart shell
- Almond Frangipane
- 2 Pears, peeled, sliced in half, cored and sliced into a fan
- Slice Almonds
- Raw Turbinado Cane Sugar
- Apricot Glaze (optional)
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 2 You will need a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and your pre-baked tart shell that is still in the ring. Set aside.
- Step 3 Peel 2 pears. Hold on to the stem and slice the pear in half. Remove the cores. Starting approximately 1/4″ from the top, slice each half into a fan, approximately 6-8 slices. You should be able to lay the pear fan flat. If not, you can slice a little more at the top. Set aside.
- Step 4 To Assemble:
- Step 5 Scoop the Almond Frangipane filling into the pre-baked tart shell. Spread it evenly across the bottom. You won’t need to use all of it. Start with half.
- Step 6 Place the fanned pears on top.
- Step 7 Add any additional Frangipane that you feel will fit into the tart without baking over.
- Step 8 Sprinkle the Frangipane sections with sliced almonds.
- Step 9 Sprinkle the pears with raw sugar.
- Step 10 Place the tart in the pre-heated oven and bake until golden brown about 10-15 minutes. Center may still be raw.
- Step 11 Reduce the heat to 350 degree Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
- Step 12 Let it cool.
- Step 13 You can serve as is or glaze the tart with an apricot jam (1/2 cup) that has been thinned down with 2 Tablespoons of water.
- Step 14 NOTE: There is no glaze on the tart in the photos.