Poached pears and frangipane make this Pear Almond Tart a dessert that will leave an impression. It’s beautiful to look at and it is absolutely delicious.
The recipe calls for poached pears, which is accomplished by peeling the pears and bringing them to a boil in water, flavored with things like vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, and cooking until fork tender. About 25 to 30 minutes. Cutco has an easy How to Poach Pears tutorial you can follow if you need some guidance.
How to Blind Bake the Tart Crust
The tart crust can be made from scratch or you can use a prepared refrigerated pie dough. Either way, you’ll bake the crust before adding any filling or fruit (this is called “blind baking”). Place the dough in a tart pan, cover it in parchment paper and weight it down with pie weights or uncooked rice (enough to cover the bottom of the crust).
The purpose of weighting down the crust is to allow it to hold its shape, without forming air pockets or shrinking. Other things you could use in place of pie weights are popcorn kernels, sugar or dried beans.
Making the Frangipane
You could make this recipe with almond paste, but I say, take the leap and make the frangipane. It is one of my absolute favorite tastes. While making it takes a bit of time, it is really simple and easy. It is just a matter of mixing together butter, sugar, almond flour, an egg, vanilla and a little all-purpose flour.
Once the frangipane is made, use a Spatula Spreader to spread it evenly across the baked tart crust.
It is worth noting that frangipane is something that needs to be baked before eating. It is not the same as almond paste, even though it’s often confused with it.
Placing the Pears
What makes this recipe extra special is how beautiful it is when finished. The pears create a decorative look that elevates this tart to something special.
Use a sharp 4" Paring Knife to evenly slice the poached pears.
Take your time and enjoy making this recipe. The end result will be a memorable dessert you’ll find yourself making over and over again.
Pear Almond Tart
- Refrigerated pie crust
- 4 Bosc or Bartlett Pears, poached (see tutorial on how to poach a pear)
- 1 cup almonds, toasted and crushed
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup ground almond flour
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
To blind bake the tart crust:
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- Place the premade pie crust into a 9-inch tart pan. After putting the dough in the tart pan, trim any excess crust using scissors or a rolling pin. Line the dough with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights (if you don’t have pie weights, you can use uncooked beans or rice). Bake until golden brown. About 10-12 minutes. Remove tart pan from oven. Allow to cool.
- Lower oven temperature to 350 F.
Make the frangipane filling:
- In small bowl cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add almond flour and mix to combine. Add the egg and vanilla and continue mixing on medium speed until incorporated. Add the all-purpose flour and continue to mix until well combined.
- Remove the parchment paper and pie weights from the tart pan. Fill the baked shell with the frangipane and smooth into an even layer.
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet.
To slice the poached pear:
- Put the pears on a few paper towels to help soak up any excess poaching liquid and keep it from seeping into the frangipane. Cut the poached pears in half, remove the stem and any core the seed area. Lay the pear cut-side down and slice in ¼-inch slices from bottom to top. Using a flat spatula, like the Cutco Turn n’ Serve, carefully lift each sliced pear half and place on the frangipane, making sure the narrow end of the pear is facing the center of the tart. Gently fan out the slices slightly as you place them in the tart. Repeat with the remaining pear halves, spacing them evenly around the tart.
- Sprinkle the tart top with the granulated sugar and scatter the toasted almonds around the edge and in between the pears where the frangipane is not covered. Bake 20 minutes or until the frangipane is puffed and golden.