It looks super fancy, like you bought it from a French patisserie but this pear almond tart is all homemade and not difficult. Layers of poached pears and frangipane in a homemade tart crust. These flavours will make you feel cosy in winter and posh all year round.
Why you’ll love this pear frangipane tart
Here in Australia, we’ve just hit the cooler months and it’s the perfect time for these warming flavours and pears are at their best. For all my readers in the Northern Hemisphere, I recommend you keep this pear tart recipe top of mind for Fall and Thanksgiving – or just make it now, it’s so good any time, really.
- All made from scratch
- A lightly spiced flavour
- Cosy, warming flavours
- It looks super fancy
- No special equipment needed
- Bonus spiced pear syrup
Three homemade layers
- The homemade tart crust: This pastry is my regular shortcrust pastry (slightly adapted) and it really is easy to make. It does take time, I won’t lie, as you need to keep in mind chilling times, but you can make this pastry 2-3 days in advance (even longer if you want to freeze it).
- The frangipane: Slightly adapted from recipes like my baklava tart and strawberry almond tart, frangipane is one of the simplest tart fillings to make. It’s a simple mix of butter, sugar, eggs, flour and almond meal and this one has a little ground cloves too.
- The poached pears: These pears are soft, juicy and infused with wonderful warming flavours of clove and cinnamon. There is a bonus to poaching the pears and that’s the wonderful pear syrup you’re left with afterward. Use it as a cordial, in cocktails or over ice cream. I use a little on top of each slice of pear tart too.
There really aren’t a lot of ingredients to this pear tart, just 11 in fact. Most of these ingredients are self explanatory but here’s a little more information on a few of them.
- Spices: This tart has cinnamon and cloves. The cinnamon is in the form of sticks and the cloves are in two forms – whole and ground.
- Pears: The Packham pear is my favourite to use but Bosc also work well. Both these pears hold their shape well.
- Almond meal / Almond flour: Almond meal is very finely ground almonds. It’s used often in flourless cakes and gives a wonderful moist texture when baked.
How to make pear frangipane tart
- For the tart crust: You’ll simply blitz together flour, salt, sugar and butter in a food processor, then blitz in an egg (photo 1), then some water,
Tip it out and shape it into a disk (photo 2) and chill. Roll it out and place it in the tart tin, trimming off the overhang (photo 3). Prick it all over with a fork (photo 4) then line with a sheet of baking paper, fill with pie weights (or rice (photo 5) or lentils) and bake.
- For the poached pears: Peel and remove the cores from the pears (photo 6) then place them in some water with spices (photo 7) and simmer until tender. Drain on paper towel, then keep the syrup simmering until thickened.
- For the frangipane filling: Beat together sugar and butter until creamy, then add eggs (photo 8) and vanilla. Now beat in the flour, almond flour and ground cloves and spread the mixture into the tart shell (photo 9). Slice the pears and lay them on top (photo 10) then bake.
The spiced pear syrup
This pear syrup is just lovely. The pears and spices are infused into the syrup, then removed and the resulting syrup is rich in flavour and smells so comforting. Winter flavours at their best.
Even though the tart is already extremely flavourful and very moist in texture, I pour a little of the syrup over the slices of pear almond tart when serving. You could save the whole lot though and use it in cocktails, as cordial or for just pouring over ice cream or pancakes.
Pro tips and tricks
- Don’t overwork the pastry: Make sure to process only until small pieces of butter remain, not until it’s completely disappeared, then handle gently and quickly so you don’t melt the butter in the pastry.
- Don’t skip the chilling time: This allows the pastry to relax (so that it isn’t elastic and reduces the amount of shrinkage) and it also keeps that butter cold. When the butter heats and melts in the oven, it creates pockets of steam that make the pastry crispy and flaky.
- Don’t skip blind baking: Blind baking may seem like an extra step but it’s well worth it. Without it, the bottom of the tart won’t be nice and crisp.
- Use a melon baller to remove the cores: This makes the job so easy and less dangerous and messy than trying to cut them out with a knife.
- Make sure to drain the pears: You want the pears to be dry when you add them to the tart or you’ll end up with liquid in your tart and it could turn out soggy.
- Cool the shell slightly: Before adding the frangipane filling, give the tart shell 5 minutes to cool a little, otherwise the butter in the frangipane will immediately melt when you try to spread it in. I normally leave making the frangipane until the tart shell has come out of the oven.
Time saving tips for pear tart recipe
It may seem like there are many steps to this recipe but I promise none are difficult. While it’s all do-able in one morning, I know you have other things to do as well so here some tips to save time.
- 2-3 days ahead: Make the pastry dough ahead of time, anywhere up to the point where it’s in the tin, shaped, trimmed and docked (docking = pricking with a fork). If you freeze it, you can do it 2 months ahead (defrost in the fridge overnight).
- 1 day before: Poach the pears and reduce the syrup. Place them in separate air-tight containers in the fridge overnight. You can also bake the tart case today, if you’d like.
- On the day: All that’s left to do is blind-bake the tart shell (if you didn’t do it yesterday), and make the frangipane filling which takes all of 5 minutes.
If you try this pear almond tart, make sure to come back and leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you.
More recipes you’ll love
- Blueberry and pear crumble
- Strawberry Almond Tart
- Warm Apple Crostata
- Rustic Almond Plum Tart
- Flourless Chocolate Pear Upside Down Cake
- Fresh Pear Crumble
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Pear Almond Tart
FOR THE PASTRY
- 165 g plain (all purp) flour (1 ¼ cups / 2.3oz) (notes 2)
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar (notes 1)
- Pinch of salt
- 85 g unsalted butter, small cubes chilled (¾ stick / 3oz)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon cold water
FOR THE FRANGIPANE FILLING
- ½ cup white granulated sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
- 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons plain (all-purp) flour (notes 1)
- 95 g almond meal (ground almonds / almond flour) (1 cup / 3oz)
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
FOR THE PEARS
- 3 ripe pears (Packham, Bosc or Anjou)
- 3 ½ cups water
- ¾ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 9 inch fluted tart tin with removeable base
- Melon baller
FOR THE PASTRY
- Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and blitz on low until it looks like chunky breadcrumbs – you should be able to see pieces of butter around the size of a lentil.
- Add the egg and blitz again on low until the dough begins to look like a really yellow fine couscous.
- With the processor running on low, drizzle in the water until it starts forming large clumps.
- Turn the dough out onto a board and just gently pull it together and smooth it slightly to a disk shape – don’t knead it too much. Wrap it in a sheet of baking paper and place it in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour to rest. (Start the poached pears)
- Set aside the baking paper, then dust a clean surface and the top of the dough with a little flour, then roll out to a large circle (11 inches in diameter). Move it often as you roll so that it doesn’t stick to the surface.
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.
- Place the set aside baking paper over the tart shell and fill with pie weights (or rice or lentils). Bake for 15 minutes then remove the weights and bake a further 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
FOR THE POACHED PEARS
- Peel and halve the pears. Carefully cut out the core (a melon baller makes this easy). Make sure to remove the stems too.
- Place the water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the pears and poach at a simmer for 7-10 minutes or until just tender when you poke them with a fork.
- Remove the pears, drain them on paper towel.
- Continue simmering the syrup for another 15-20 minutes until you have around 1 cup or less left. Strain into a jug and set aside to cool.
FOR THE FRANGIPANE FILLING
- Once the tart shell has finished blind-baking.
- In a medium bowl with an electric beater, beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Finally, mix in the flour, almond meal and ground cloves.
- Carefully spread the mixture over the base of the tart shell.
- Slice the pears and arrange over the top, points to the middle, then brush just a little of the thickened syrup just over the pears.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, turning the tray half way through, until golden and springy on top. If you notice any liquid pooling around the pears, soak it up with a paper towel. A little is fine.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons)
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- All ovens are different, test for doneness 3-5 minutes before for the pastry blind bake and 5-10 minutes before for the end.
- Start the poached pears while the pastry is resting, so they drain and cool in time.
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