Pear & Almond Cream Tart

My entire family cannot stop eating pears this season. We are absolutely in love with them. Especially Bartletts. So, I really branched out by making these pear tarts instead of an apple pie for Thanksgiving this year in celebration of our love of pears. (As an aside, I have always had a love of tarts as well!)

This lovely tart recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Elisabeth Prueitt. I substituted 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract for the 2 tablespoons of brandy. I also made one 9-inch tart and one 10-inch tart because those are the size tart pans I own. 😉 The original recipe was for two 9-inch tarts. Because the tart sizes were different, each had a different pear pattern on top. Beautiful and delicious.

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Yield: Makes 2 9-inch Tarts

For the Pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1/4 cup ice water

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 stick plus 6 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced almonds, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or 1 T vanilla extract
  • 6 ripe medium Bartlett pears, peeled, quartered and cored
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°, preferably on convection.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Pulse in the butter until it is the size of small peas.
  3. Sprinkle the egg mixture on top and pulse just until a dough forms.
  4. Scrape the pastry onto 2 sheets of plastic wrap and form into 2 disks. Wrap and refrigerate until chilled. (I let it chill overnight.)
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each pastry disk to a 12-inch round 1/8 inch thick. Fit the pastry into two 9-inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms. Fold the overhang onto itself. Using a sharp knife or a rolling pin, trim off any excess pastry. Chill to set while you prepare the filling.
  6. Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch.
  8. Whisk in 1 egg and the salt.
  9. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, then return it to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until thickened and just beginning to bubble around the edges, about 4 minutes.
  10. Strain the custard into a bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter.
  11. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat the remaining 12 tablespoons of butter with the sliced almonds at medium-low speed until the almonds are slightly crushed.
  12. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 eggs, then beat in the custard and brandy/vanilla.
  13. Spoon the filling into the tarts. Place 1 pear quarter in the center of each tart; arrange the remaining quarters in a circle around it. (I made different patterns with the different size tarts, and was only able to place a pear quarter in the center of the 10-inch tart.)
  14. Bake the tarts in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, rotating halfway between the cooking time, or until the pears are very tender and the custard and pastry are deep golden.
  15. Let the tarts cool for 30 minutes, then unmold. Garnish with additional sliced almonds, if desired.
  16. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

Note: The tarts can be stored overnight in airtight containers.

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About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

6 responses to “Pear & Almond Cream Tart

  1. Gorgeous Josette! Joyeux Noël!

  2. What a beautiful tart for the holidays!

  3. Such a beautiful tart Josette!! Happy Holidays!!

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