Pear Frangipane Tart
This classic French poached pear tart is made with a sweet tart dough and filled with poached pears and frangipane (almond cream). Serve over the holiday season for a special treat!
I’m so excited to partner with Harry & David once again to bring you one of my favorite classic dessert recipes!
This classic pear frangipane tart uses my all-time favorite Harry & David product: their famous Southern Oregon grown Royal Riviera pears.
My family has been ordering Royal Riviera pears over the holiday season for as long as I can remember. It has become a long-standing tradition and one we look forward to each year.
They make for a wonderful holiday gift to send to friends and family too. I’m all about edible gifts at this time of year.
Ingredient Breakdown: Royal Riviera Pears
Hand picked at peak maturity, Royal Riviera pears are buttery, sweet, and incredibly juicy. Like, so juicy that you’ll have to stand over a sink while you eat them. They’re incredible, always arrive in perfect condition, and never ever disappoint.
So you can imagine my excitement when two boxes of my favorite pears arrived on my doorstep, and I was asked to create a fun new pear recipe for you.
I brainstormed a few ideas, but kept coming back to one of my favorite desserts of all-time: pear frangipane tart. Otherwise known as la tarte bourdaloue.
A classic French tart made with pate brisee (sweet tart dough), poached pears, and frangipane (almond cream).
How to Poach Pears
In keeping with tradition, this pear tart uses poached pears for the filling. While it’s tempting to just enjoy them on their own, Royal Riviera pears are fabulous for baking, as they have a very buttery texture and maintain their shape extremely well.
For this tart recipe, we’ll be poaching whole cored pears in a simple syrup infused with cinnamon sticks, star anise pods, and vanilla bean.
One important thing to keep in mind when poaching is to always use firm, just barely ripe pears. You do not want to allow the pears to fully ripen or they will break down during the poaching process.
What is Frangipane?
Pronounced fran-juh-pan, frangipane is a dessert filling made from ground almonds, butter, eggs, sugar, and small amount of unbleached all-purpose flour. It is sometimes referred to as almond cream.
I fully came to appreciate frangipane in culinary school. We used it constantly for various applications and its ability to transform desserts never ceased to amaze me. It rises as it bakes, and has a wonderful texture and almond flavor that beautifully compliments pears.
Frangipane is made from finely ground almonds, aka. almond flour. While you can flavor frangipane any number of ways, the frangipane filling for this tart is kept fairly traditional.
I like to add fresh lemon zest, a touch of dark rum (optional), and pure vanilla extract.
Blind-Baking the Tart Crust
As is the case with many tart recipes, this pear frangipane tart requires you to blind-bake the tart dough prior to adding the filling.
Blind baking adds another step to this recipe, but is very important for the final result.
It ensures that the tart dough is cooked through completely, gains a deep golden color (aka. flavor!), and ensures a crisp, buttery texture that balances the softer pear frangipane filling.
How to Make It Ahead:
While this dessert does involve several components and steps, there are ways to prep it in advance and make the process more time-friendly.
- Sweet Tart Dough – prepare and refrigerate the tart dough several days in advance (or freeze up to a month ahead and allow to thaw in the refrigerator before rolling out)
- Poached Pears – pears can be poached several days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Frangipane Filling – frangipane comes together quickly and stores extremely well. Make it several days in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. It also freezes well, just be sure to transfer it to the refrigerator in advance and allow it to thaw completely before using.
How to Serve Pear Frangipane Tart:
Once baked, you’ll want to allow the tart to cool almost completely before serving. I like to garnish it with a simple dusting of sugar. You can also brush the top with a simple apricot glaze for shine if you desire.
The tart is best served on it’s own or with a simple dollop of whipped cream. This would make an excellent dessert for Thanksgiving or enjoyed over the rest of the holiday season.
Pear Frangipane Tart
- 2 cups (240 g) unbleached all-purpose flour fluffed, spooned, and leveled
- ⅓ cup (70 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 11 tablespoons (155 g; 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter cubed
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 cups (1.4 L) cold water
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 star anise pod
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 2 strips lemon peel without the pith, plus half a lemon
- 3 Harry & David Royal Riviera Pears firm yet slightly ripe
- 8 tablespoons (4 oz; 115 grams) unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (115 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (115 g) almond flour
- 3 large whole eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon dark rum optional
- powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- lightly sweetened whipped cream optional
- Prepare the Tart Dough: Lightly grease a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Pulse until well mixed. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse repeatedly until the butter is well distributed into the flour. You shouldn't be able to see any distinguishable pieces. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and pulse continuously until the dough just starts to clump together. Note: It might appear very dry at first, but if you continue to pulse and process, it will come together. Be patient.
- Transfer the dough and any smaller pieces to a clean countertop, and knead - pressing the dough down with the heel of your hand - until it is completely smooth. It will resemble a sugar cookie dough in texture. Press the dough into the greased tart pan (with a removable bottom) - it should be just under ¼-inch thick, you should have some dough leftover - and chill in the fridge for a minimum of one hour, or freeze for at least 30 minutes. If you are preparing the dough ahead of time: press it into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 2 days. If following this method, take the dough out of the fridge at least 15 to 20 minutes before rolling, as it will be too hard to roll right from the fridge. Roll the dough out (between pieces of parchment or wax paper to prevent sticking), carefully pick up and transfer the dough to the tart pan, using fingers to push in dough and gently shape the tart. If it cracks, just simply patch or press the pieces back together. This is a forgiving tart dough. Make sure to press dough tightly inside corners and sides. The dough can be made up to 2 days in advance or frozen up to a month ahead.
- Poach the Pears: As the tart dough is chilling, poach the pears. Combine the cold water and granulated sugar in a medium pot (roughly 3-quart capacity). Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise pod, vanilla bean paste, and lemon peel.
- Peel the pears, leaving the stem on, and gently rub each pear with the lemon half to prevent the pears from oxidizing. Using melon baller or small paring knife, core the pears from the bottom end. Using a large spoon, gently lower the cored, whole pears into the poaching liquid. The poaching liquid should almost completely cover the pears.
- Return the poaching liquid to a low simmer, cover the surface of the pot with a parchment round, and simmer the pears, occasionally flipping them during the cooking process, for about 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Remember that you will be cooling the pears in the liquid, so do not overcook. You can test whether the pears are done by piercing the pear (through the bottom end) with a paring knife. The pears should be tender, yet not at all mushy.
- Cool the pears to room temperature in the poaching liquid. Serve or transfer the pears to a large container and refrigerate for up to one week. The poaching liquid can be kept, discarded, or used to store the poached pears. Try reusing the liquid for poaching other pears or as a simple syrup in cocktails, etc.
- Blind Bake the Tart Shell: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the center position. Lightly grease the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit it, buttered side down, against the chilled tart dough. Fill the foil with baking weights, dried beans, or granulated sugar (all options work well). Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, and bake uncovered for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the shell is lightly golden and cooked through. Set tart pan on a wire rack to cool completely before adding the frangipane and poached pears.
- Make the Frangipane Filling: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held mixer). Beat over medium speed until creamy. Over low speed, add the almond flour, alternating with egg until the ingredients are incorporated evenly. Add the flour and mix to combine. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and rum (if using) and mix until just combined. Use right away if the other tart components are ready, or transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Assemble the Tart: Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Fill the pre-baked tart shell with the frangipane filling and spread into an even layer with an offset spatula. Place the poached pears on a few paper towels to help soak up any excess poaching liquid (this will help prevent it from seeping into the frangipane). Cut the poached pears in half, removing the stem and any core that might remain. Slice the pear halves crosswise into thin slices. Using a spatula, carefully lift each sliced pear half and place on the frangipane, with the narrow end of the pear facing the center of the tart, fanning the slices apart slightly as you work. Repeat with the remaining pear halves, spacing them evenly around the tart.
- Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 40 to 55 minutes, or until the frangipane has risen substantially around the pears and is deep golden brown in color. Note: *If your oven runs hot, you may wish to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees. If the edges of the tart are gaining color too quickly, you can lightly cover them with a ring of foil - be sure to cook the filling through completely. Transfer the tart to a rack to cool until lukewarm or room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan.
- Before serving, dust lightly with powdered sugar. Serve plain or with whipped cream. While you can prepare several components of this tart ahead, it is best served the day of baking. Any leftovers can be kept at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.
Tips for Success
- It is very important to use firm, just barely ripe pears, whenever you are poaching. Otherwise they will become mushy and overcooked.
- You can use uncooked pears for this recipe as well, however they won't have quite as much flavor as the poached pears. If following this method, use slightly riper pears (but make sure they are still fairly firm).
- For added flavor: Infuse the frangipane with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.
135 Comments on “Pear Frangipane Tart”
Thank you for this recipe. Our family and friends have been enjoying this tart immensely. I made it once with pears, then with apricots and blueberries with a layer of apricot St Dalfour’s apricot fruit spread at bottom. It is out of this world. Substituting almond flour (1/2 regular 1/2 almond for crust works well, as does using Swerve instead of sugar. Again many thanks for your detailed instructions and delicious recipe!!Cynthia Perine
I baked this recipe with my sister when I visited her. only adjustment we made was to make 1 1/2 recipes fro the frangipane… and added to tart. That way, it fed about 12 people. various family members stopped by to say hello and have a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of the tart. It was pure magic. I will definitely make again.
I left a comment but no stars! Definitely 5!
I love how this recipe has 3 defined stages that can be pre-prepared and chilled, making it a lovely calm way to bake. The final tart was DELICIOUS and the poached pears a revelation on their own. We made a syrup from the left over poaching liquid. Highly recommend giving this a whirl!
The filling and pears are delicious, but the crust definitely burns. I took every precaution, I covered the crust with aluminum, I lowered my oven temp, I baked it on a cookie sheet and it was still pretty over baked when I served it. I was a hit with my family regardless.
Hi Barbara! I’ve had many people bake this without this issue (and a few others have mentioned the crust gets too much color like you) – so it’s hard to know what’s causing the issue and troubleshoot effectively. I personally have tested this dough many times without this issue. My best advice would be to invest in a cheap separate oven thermometer, to make sure your oven does not run extremely hot. This is an extremely common issue with most home ovens. In addition, this should NOT bake with the convection setting. I don’t know if either of these issues are related to your case, but want to bring them up because it’s very common.
I do plan on playing/testing this recipe more this coming year and seeing if new directions/updates or tips need to be added, and appreciate the feedback! Glad you enjoyed the recipe either way.
I’ve made this twice and it was delicious. However, I use Pillsbury pie crust (the rolled one that is refrigerated not frozen) which I blind bake. And have used canned pear halves. About the pears, I use six halves and drain thoroughly on paper towels. I know this is cheating but everyone who tried the tart loved it. Thanks for the detailed recipe.
This tart is amazing!!!! I have received so many compliments for this recipe. Yesterday I swapped pears for peaches and it was delicious 💛 I read that it shouldn’t be crumbling, but it happens to me hehe I love it though! I wonder if this related to the size of the egg (?) Would a little bit of water in the dough help?
Anyways, I love the texture, the filling and the poached fruit. Awesome combination of textures and flavours. If you do it right this recipe won’t fail. I have made it all by hand and also mixing the ingredients in the thermomix and in both ways it’s just a explosion of flavours and love.
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!! One of my favourites 💛
Hey Kathy 🙂 I plan on making this on the weekend.. do you add in the rum? Im wondering whether or not it makes a big difference to the flavour?
You can skip the rum if you wish!
I’ve made this tart probably 6 or 7 times over the past 3 years – it’s my husband’s absolute favorite! The only problem I have is that my crust is consistently black. I’ve baked it in both the US and Europe (different ingredients & pan materials), and I’ve baked it using many variations of foil rings to cover the crust edges to no avail – at the end of baking the tart, my crust is always completely burnt. Do you have any suggestions I may have not yet tried?
Thanks for the lovely recipe!
So strange. I haven’t heard this feedback before. You could try blind baking it for less time or reducing the temperature by 25 degrees or so. Some ovens have very hot and bad heat spots (my mom’s oven consistently burns baked goods – it runs 50 degrees too hot!!!), so I would recommend trying a separate oven thermometer to double check this issue. Or a true pie/tart crust shield.
Yea, I’m not sure its just the rim, the bottom is fine. And like I said, I’ve baked it all over the world at this point – in three different ovens with two different pans and it always happens.
Do you double over the edges or make them thicker somehow?
Perfect! The best cake I’ve ever made! And with pears from my garden.
Love that! Thanks so much for the feedback Enes!
General Opinion: Nobody went back for seconds, myself included. High hopes, but it didn’t hit the mark.
Note: I followed the recipe, ingredients, and tools exactly as indicated. I also have a separate oven thermometer.
Pros: Thankfully, I didn’t have the same over browning issues that others experienced. I think tightly sealing it in with aluminum initially makes a big difference. On the plus side, the poaching liquid was absolutely heavenly! I’d definitely use that part of the recipe again and have saved the syrup to use in other ways. The presentation was also quite pretty. The base was fairly good, but I would recommend using regular salt rather than kosher salt unless you like random hits of salt similar to eating salted caramel foods.
Cons: The frangipane and flavour are where things fell apart for me. I’m not sure what the baked frangipane texture is supposed to be like as it wasn’t indicated, but this was neither cake-like nor creamy; sort of in-between. It looked fully set but had an unusual texture (crumbly yet moist). Maybe it wasn’t cooked enough despite the colour looking right and cooking at 375° for 50 minutes. Finally, the flavour just wasn’t strong enough for me. Perhaps an apricot glaze or brushing on the poaching liquid would have helped to add more flavour. I didn’t do the optional cinnamon and cardamom tweak suggested, but think that could also help.
Question: What should the texture of the frangipane be like once baked?
Sorry to hear that. As specified, I called for Diamond Crystal kosher salt, which is VERY different than other kosher salt brands, eg. Morton (if that’s what you used, which would explain the “bits of salt” description). If the correct salt was used, it would dissolve fully and you would not detect anything like what you described.
Frangipane is hard to describe, but it is not necessarily cake like – and it is not creamy – it is somewhere in between exactly as you described, but it should be cooked through. It is a very classic French pastry filling, which is delicate in flavor, almond-y, and creamy and buttery in flavor. Crumbly is not quite right, but it absolutely should be very moist and almost custard-like.
Again, this is an incredibly traditional recipe for Pear Frangipane Tart (it is slightly adapted from the recipe that I learned how to make when I attended a French professional culinary school). With that said, it sounds like the classic dessert is just not your thing and that’s OK! But I’m sorry to hear that it wasn’t for you.
Made this last year for Thanksgiving dinner, had never made it before (yeah kinda risky but that is me lol). It turned out great am making it again today just because I am having a strong urge for it… Thanks for the recipe, btw didn’t have star anise fir the poaching liquid so I used some cardamom pods. Also what can I do with the leftover poaching liquid, can it be reduced to make syrup?
As I cannot eat pastry could I just bake the frangipani with the pears a crust less version do hope so as pear and almond are some of my favourite things
Hi! I’m not sure how you would do this – you could try doing it in a ceramic oven proof baking dish, but technically frangipane still has flour in it, so I’m not sure if you can’t have gluten or if there is another issue. It would certainly not yield the same type of dessert.
Beautifully written recipe. Thank you for writing a very descriptive recipe. I tried it and was very happy with the result.
This is a favorite. It not only looks impressive but tastes fabulous and is luscious. A quick tip: use canned pear halves vs poaching them. Just pat them dry a bit.
I love your pear tart. Wonder why some are backing it in 350f, 325 and you in 375f?
I’m confuse; would you please let me know; also are you using convection oven or regular
Thank you so much,
Hi! Glad you enjoy it! All of my recipes are designed for regular oven settings – not convection (I would specify in writing if that was the case). I think you could certainly play around with 350F and 375F for this tart, every oven behaves a little differently. It is not a delicate custard-egg filling, so I don’t see the reason for using a super low 325F setting personally.
Extremely beautiful, thank you for explaining in detail, hats off to ur photography 🥰🥰 im sukanya from Bangalore, India.
One of the best tarts I’ve ever made! Poached the pears and followed the recipe as is.
This is a winner! I made mine in a 9 inch removable pan and still worked out, just a deeper tart.
Every year we receive a box of pears and I am always looking for new recipes and this one will be added to my favorites, it was delish!! Thank you for a great recipe.
Made this on the 24th and it came out so well! My whole family loved it!! I didn’t have a tart pan so I used muffin pans to make mini ones. I decorated them with almond pieces after.
Just made this for an early Christmas dinner, and it came out beautifully!
Only issue I had is the pears seemed to loose all the spice flavor after baking. I tried them as I was adding them to the tart and I could taste the spices really strong, but when I ate the tart next day I couldn’t taste it at all. Any suggestions?
Hi! The pears are actually supposed to be fairly delicate in the tart – that’s traditional. I think you’d have to add spices to the frangipane to notice any substantial difference in flavor.
the best dessert I have ever made! I cheated a bit and used some left-over pastry I had in the fridge already but the filling was as per this recipe.
Thank you very much for the excellent instructions
Made the components ahead of time, so no rush and was able to follow directions diligently. Used a 9 inch tart pan. Used under-ripe Bartlett pears which held together nicely while poaching – sliced thinly to place on top. Added the cardamom and cinnamon to the frangipane. Turned out beautifully! Wish I could post a picture here. 🙂
I never leave recipe reviews, but this was so good that I had no another choice. Absolutely delicious.
This is such a compliment, thank you for taking the time to do so!
Can you poach the pears in red wine or something else to give them a pop of color?
Yep! You could definitely do this, it’s just not as traditional for this particular variation of tart!
Can I bake this in a 9” tart pan? I have so many baking pans!
Excited to make this!
Definitely! You’ll just have a little bit extra of everything – so just note that to yourself before starting. Also, keep an eye on bake time because it will most likely need to be reduced. Hope this helps!
How full would you say the tart pan & shell should be with the filling?
Yep! A generous 2/3 to 3/4 full. Hope this helps!
I made this for Thanksgiving, and it has easily become something I’d like to make every year! It was so, so good, definitely worth all of the steps.
It took 35 minutes in the oven with the 9” pan 👍
This was a fantastic recipe!!! I loved the simple subtle flavors with the poached pear that made it delicious.
Could you poach the pears in wine?
Also, could you make the three parts early on Thanksgiving day (blind bake crust, mix the Frangipane then refrig and poach and slice the pears)….THEN put the filling and pears in the crust bake while everyone is eating dinner?
I personally would prep the dough ahead (instructions are in the recipe!), frangipane and pears (don’t slice ahead of assembly though) the day BEFORE Thanksgiving – store as separate components of course – and assemble/bake the tart in the morning. I think anything else could be stressful with timing and the attention this recipe requires. Feel free to ask more questions and I’d be happy to elaborate or answer more questions!
Thanks for the quick response. What about the question of poaching in wine?
Stunning.! Worth the work! Don’t look at the nutrition info at the bottom of the recipe.
My nutrition information is just estimates based on calculations and unfortunately takes into account all the poaching liquid (I can’t specify that out), which isn’t used! ?
Can you tell by this if I would have to double the recipe to do 6, mini/individual tarts?
Hello! A friend just dropped off an insane amount of pears and I came across this recipe looking for something to do with them all! I am wondering if you have ever tried freezing this recipe. If you have, what are some tips/advice you might offer in regard to that. Thanks!
I personally wouldn’t freeze the cooked tart, because it might impact the texture and flavor. But a lot of the components can be frozen, but that isn’t very helpful for your situation! You could certainly poach a few pears and leave them in the fridge (in the poaching liquid – just be sure not to let them overcook) for a few days or up to a week.
Maybe try this pear cake recipe? This would freeze better: https://www.abeautifulplate.com/spiced-almond-pear-cake/ or alternatively, you could make a pear crisp and freeze that to reheat later.
If you really have an abundance of pears (I did too, as a I have a bartlett pear tree!), you might want to look into making homemade pear butter/jam (it can be a freezer or fridge jam, so no canning is needed if you’re not comfortable) or dehydrating some (if that is an option), even freezing some ripe chopped pear for smoothies is another great way to use them up.
I made this tart for the family last night and it was very nice however I did have issues with my crust. It wasn’t crumbly at all but over cooked. I blind baked it for the amount of time that you suggested and when I checked it, it was starting to rise up. I then realised that there were no instructions to prick the pastry first with a fork so I then did this which elevated the problem. Unfortunately the crust ended up very overcooked. It was edible but hard to cut with a spoon. I’m not sure if my thermostat is out in my oven ( I do need to check this ) but I do feel that the blind baking time is a bit long when compared to other recipes. I love anything cooked with almond meal and the pears were so delicious. The syrup is just perfect and not to sweet as I thought it would be. I will defiantly make this again as I’m determined to master the crust.
Hi! The crust is not pricked for this recipe – it should not rise much at all during baking. Every oven is different, but since the dough is covered for the majority of the blind baking process, it shouldn’t gain basically any color at all until you remove the foil and bake it a bit longer. You really want the tart crust to be nearly completely cooked through before adding the frangipane.
If the crust does start to gain too much color during the remainder of the baking (once the filling and pears have been added), the best way to protect the edges is with a foil ring! Again, every oven varies by temperature and some ovens have bad hot spots, so these are all factors to look out for and keep an eye on! Glad you enjoyed the taste though!
This ís my second time making this because my husband requested it for for this weekend.
The first time was a success ( and it was my first attempt baking a pie and proud of myself 😀 ).
I didn’t change anything in your recipe and followed the method exactly. While it’s baking in the oven, and the house smells divine!
And for anyone who’s afraid that they might burn the edge of the crust after the blind baking, get a foil and wrap it around ( this is not very environmental friendly but you can re-use it the next time you make another one :))
Thank you, Laura for sharing your recipe.
How do you get your pears so dark? Mine came out quite pale. Thanks
It might just depend on the specific pears you used, your oven calibration, etc. Don’t worry about that too much, as it’s not an integral part of the result that you’re looking for! Hope that helps.
I tried this recipe yesterday, I didn’t put the pears on top because the ones I had were very ripe..but I made a compote that I put on the crust before the frengipane..
I must say it’s the best tart I made so far..the crust (pate sucree) it’s so good, the texture is perfect..I struggled to find the right recipe for the crust in the past and now with this one I’m so happy…with the baking I just followed your advice,my oven runs hot so I put the foil around the crust borders…(it works)
Thanks for sharing this recipe..
I will enjoy this tart ?
So thrilled to hear this, thanks for the feedback!!!
Laura, you have remarkable patience in responding to the commenters. It seems many people want their frangipane to be in a pie crust!
I don’t normally make complicated desserts but had all (almost all) the ingredients and was spurred on to trying. So glad I did. I used ground cinnamon, ginger, star anise, vanilla and lemon peel in the poaching liquid. Everyone is questioning the crust I question the poaching liquid….6 cups water/2 cups sugar? seemed such a waste. I put 4 pears in a small saucepan with 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup sugar and it was fine. I prob overcooked the crust forgetting that it will be cooked again with filling. Might want to note in instructions to undercook the crust a little.
Hi Sandi. You need a decent amount of liquid so that the pears are fully emerged and poaching liquid is 100% re-usable. 2 cups of water would not allow 3 pears (or the pears of the size that I used for this recipe) to be submerged properly or cook evenly in the way that this recipe is designed – if the pears aren’t fully submerged, it can also result in them discoloring from oxidation.
If you wish to have very little liquid and steam them (which is sounds like you did), that is up to you, but that is not the traditional way to poach pears – nor how you would traditionally prepare this very classic French dessert.
Everyone is welcome to adapt and change the recipe however they wish though, and if it works for you, that’s great but that’s up to them and what they feel comfortable with. In addition, the blind-baking is intended to fully bake the crust through (with little additional color), so again, that feedback is not in line with my intentions for the recipe.
My tart came out great! I followed the recipe exactly as written and had no issues…well actually, instead of anise, I used ginger in the poaching liquid. The cream swallowed one of my pears, but from the comments I see it could be that that pear was on the small side. The dough came together great and cooked up buttery golden brown. I wrapped the edge in foil once the crust was filled to prevent the edges from getting too dark. I will be making this for Thanksgiving, Christmas or just because! Tastes even better the next day!
Baked this Tart today. Loved it, thanks for the recipe
Just tried this with conference pears as that is all i had. It was lovely. I should have turned the oven down a bit as it’s a fan but it was fine. The cream worked well. You said you have not frozen a whole tart. Have you frozen individial slices before?
Hi! Could this be made in a pie plate instead of a tart pan? Sorry if this question has been asked already.
Hi Victoria! So sorry for the late reply. It’s definitely not ideal at all, because the fill would be fairly shallow and the crust wouldn’t properly fill a pie plate. Ideally, you want to be able to remove it from the tart pan too (which is why I recommend a tart pan with a removable bottom) Definitely possible, but I can’t give any specific recommendations on adapting it. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.
Fabulous tart. All of your directions were spot on. Thank you for being so detailed. I will definitely be trying more of your recipes.
Made this a few days ago! Very very yummy and actually very straightforward to follow for someone (such as myself) who has never made one before. To echo some of the comments above, the only flaw with this recipe I found was with the over temperature/cook time. Like I said, I did it by the book but after the first blind bake the pastry crust was already browning! I then had to try and salvage it for the second part of the blind bake and then the proper 40 minute bake using tinfoil. Other recipes I’ve since checked out (one of which I’ve tried) have the oven at 375 to blind bake (10 minutes, then 5 minutes as opposed to 20 and 15), and then (like this recipe) 375 to bake the frangipane (40 minutes). Unfortunately the end result of this round was that my pastry was a bit saw-dusty. BUT I loved this recipe otherwise and will be doing it again just with the adjusted temps 🙂
It turned our really nice although too sweet for my taste. I will reduce the sugar in both the frangipane and the poaching liquid. The crust was also a bit crumbly like others noted.
Wonderful recipe! Ours was beautifully golden brown and I dumbly decided to throw it under the broiler for a moment to make the pears a bit more golden. Got a bit crispy on the tops! Scraped it off and it was still delightful!!
When you bake yours how do you achieve the beautiful golden brown pears?
Thank you for this very well-written and tested recipe. Our neighbors gave us a box of Harry & David pears, so, as thanks, I cooked 3 of them into this tart today and gave them back, haha! I must say it turned out perfectly. Usually I modify recipes to meet my standards but this one has no need for improvement. My tart was a hit, and was devoured on the spot. It honestly could have been sold in a French patisserie: it was that ideal in appearance and taste.
But I did have a discrepancy. I always weigh my ingredients in metric and my almond flour (Kirkland Brand) came out to 80g for a cup. I weighed and measured it twice just to be sure, and yep 80g a cup, so I added another scant 1/2 cup (35g) to adhere to the weight specified in the recipe and I’m glad I did, as the frangipane baked up just fine. I also wrapped my crust with foil for the second bake as it was pretty much done after the first and it prevented it from over-cooking. I was very pleased it did not shrink too much either, as a lot of pastry doughs do! For the commenters who said their crust was too dry but they measured precisely, perhaps it was the quality of butter. Some commercial unsalted butters have higher moisture content than others. Usually the expensive butters, like Irish or Amish rolled, are much denser and lower in moisture, sometimes just enough to make a dough seem dry when it’s assembled. For this I used cheap store-brand butter and the dough was ideally moist.
One other comment about the crust– I made it last night and pressed it into the pan while it was still soft because I didn’t want to bother rolling it out later once it had gotten cold. It’s so much easier to work with right away, no need for extra flour to keep it from sticking, etc. I slid the tart pan into a plastic bag and refrigerated it overnight. This morning it was chilled and ready to fill. I also made the frangipane ahead of time to let the almond flour absorb the moisture from the eggs to even-out the consistency. It may be an insignificant step but sometimes little things like this distinguish an amateur from a professional result. Admittedly, I do it for my perfectionist self. My appreciative friends and family rarely discern the difference!
All around an excellent recipe! I will add to my collection!
Thank you again!
Former Chef at two restaurants in Washington DC in the early eighties. very nice approach. I recently tried a crust made of a mix of almond flour, oatmeal flour and unbleached flour. Added candied orange peel to the mix and a little cardamom in the crust. Superb. True, you must shepherd the oven temp and time. easy to burn near the finish.
Bosc pears don’t fall apart under long poaching times, that is why I have poached them in aromatic spices and red wine for deserts. Pears stuffed with sweet Gorgonzola Dolce cheese and candied fruit or chocolate. Renassance cuisine.
I made this tart back in January and it came out beautifully. Everyone I served it to complimented me. I’m actually just leaving a comment now to let you know that this has become my go to tart crust recipe. I’ve tried a lot of different ones but this one consistently works for me and tastes great. I love the little bit of salt in there and the lemon zest adds great flavor. I’ve had no trouble getting the dough to come together and it’s so easy to make. This crust never shrinks on me either. Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi, is the measurement correct for poaching the pears with the vanilla bean paste? Typically I thought 1 tsp of paste is equal to 1 bean not 1 tbsp. Thanks.
Hi Ang! Vanilla is a flavoring agent – not structural to the recipe, so you can always adjust or adapt vanilla in any recipe. I listed some options because I know people are working with different things. The vanilla bean paste that I’m referring to a different product, not the equivalent of scraping an actual vanilla bean – it has other ingredients that dilute the flavor. Real vanilla beans are incredibly flavorful, so I find that you really don’t need nearly as much as you would extract/paste product to get the same effect. Again, though, add however much vanilla you like!
if i don’t have all purpose flour could i use almond flour as a substitute?
Are you referring to the tart dough recipe or in the filling? If you’re referring to the tart dough, unfortunately the answer is no. Almond flour does not behave the same way, and it would be a greasy melting mess. I’m sorry to say that, but I don’t want to inform you otherwise and have you waste any ingredients. The best substitute would be (maybe) a GF flour substitute. I know flour is super hard to come by right now, so I apologize for any disappointment, but this wouldn’t be a good recipe to try right now without the right ingredients! Stay safe and well.
What kind of pears can I use if I don’t have royal riviera pears?
Royal Riviera pears are a special type of Comice pear, but Anjou or Bosc would also work, just be sure to poach them when they are still firm (and not ripe, otherwise they will fall apart!). Hope this helps!
I just made the tart yesterday under self-quarantine. I came out wonderful. We each had a piece and gave the rest to friends. This is a Great recipe!
This is wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it!
I am attending a ladies dinner and then a ladies brunch the next day to get to know the ladies at my new church, and the events are french-food themed. I’m making these beautiful pear frangipane tarts for the first night’s desert. I am going to try to make them as individual 3.5″ tartlets, and will be sure to let you know how that goes. The recipe looks classic and well-thought out and perfect for my event. With all of your answers to the comments and tips and shared knowledge of the baking times and crust dough consistency, I feel pretty confident at being able to adapt this beautiful dessert into darling individual portions, just as beautiful as the full-sized version. Thanks so much, and again, I’ll let you know how mine turn out.
Not too happy with this one. The frangipane swallowed the pears. it was my first try, and i wll try it again.
But one should definitely be careful to not overbake the crust on the blind bake, as the second bake with the filling and pears is another 45 mins or so.
Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy it. The pears should still be visible and not swallowed by the frangipane – that would happen if perhaps the pears were overcooked or you used smaller pears?
I was wanting to make this for Christmas with some pears I bought from the local FFA at school. My 4 month old ended up in the hospital and Christmas is being postponed for 2 weeks. We’re home now and I was wondering if I could make it now, as my pears are perfect for poaching, and then freeze the whole tart for two weeks?
Hi Nickie! So sorry to hear this news and hope your child is OK/recovering! I’ve never tried freezing the whole tart. You could certainly try, but I’m worried it would impact the texture, particularly of the pears, or result in it being a bit soggy when after defrosting. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!
All I have is a 9 inch tart pan. Do you think that will be alright?
Yes! That should be fine. You just will have a little bit extra dough and filling, so be mindful of that. I would also watch the baking times a bit more closely too. Hope you enjoy and would love for you to come back a leave a review/feedback once you make it!! Thanks in advance!
Something is off on the temperatures or the times in this recipe. My crust and tart almost burned! I ended up taking the tart out after 25 minutes and was so thankful I checked on it or my Thanksgiving dessert would have been ruined. I followed all the directions to a T and double checked myself afterward. I don’t know which is off, but I recommend rechecking this recipe.
Hi Jane. Thank you for your comment and I’m really sorry to hear that. This is the first time that I’ve ever received a review on this recipe that states that the tart nearly burned – it simply does not make sense that that would happen in that short of a period. Frangipane fillings need time to cook through, and 25 minutes is not sufficient – if you glance at any basic pear tart recipe, my instructions and temperatures are the standard. This recipe was tested multiple times and has received a LOT of positive reviews. With all respect, it sounds like your oven runs hot. I would always suggest having a separate oven thermometer, as it is VERY common that oven calibrations are off by as much as 25+ degrees. Again, I apologize for any issues that you experienced and I’d be happy to retest it if I receive similar feedback again, but think there might be an issue on your end that hasn’t been accounted for!
I had trouble with the bake. The top of the dough browned very quickly so I figured it must be done, went against my better judgment and took it out of the oven, even though it seemed jigglie, when we cut into it after it cooled for several hours, it was very undercooked. Maybe I need to check the temp of my oven? Going to try it again tomorrow. To be honest, I could just eat the pears by themselves, they are so yummy after being poached!
Hi Kate, it sounds like your oven might run a bit hot. I always have a separate oven thermometer in my oven, which is very helpful to have and I highly recommend it. If the crust is browning too quickly – and the frangipane has not set (you definitely don’t want to undercook the filling – I would suggest creating a ring of foil to lightly cover the edges of the crust while it finishes baking, as people do with pie crusts, etc.
I will add that note to the recipe. Alternatively, there is a chance that the crust also gained too much color during the blind-baking, which would also make it brown even more quickly during the final bake. Hope this helps!
I do not have a food processor.
How else can I prepare the dough?
In Best of Health,
This dough is a bit tricky to make without a food processor. You can do it by hand, this (extremely old) video shows the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqWvxLkzMiw
I used my kitchen aid and it did fine.
I had similar issues with dough not pulling together and actually threw out one batch and started out again and measuring by weight. We found you had to be patient with the food processor and keep going, we actually took some out and processed and that seemed to help and started to ball up. Once done pressed into a pan it was fine. Very yummy, I may add a bit more lemon zest to both filling and crust.
Thanks for your feedback Lili! Yes, some people have had similar issues, but I re-tested this dough just the other day with the exact weight measurements and had no issues. I do have a feeling that people are not being patient and processing enough – so I have added additional notes and clarification into the instructions to make it clearer. Glad that it worked for you and you tried it again! Appreciate you taking the time to leave your review! 🙂
Hi, is there a reason the pears are cored before poaching or could they be poached whole and cored just before they go on the tart? Thanks!
Hi Martha, it’s more traditional to core pears before poaching as it will reduce the cook time (and it makes it a bit easier to gauge that they’re cooked through but not overcooked) – but I don’t really see why you can’t poach them whole either. Hope this helps!
Thank you that’s helpful. I am going to make this tart for a gathering of friends on Thursday, I’ll let you know how it goes!
I just made this tart last night and had a piece for breakfast!!! it was absolutely delicious. However, I do have a question. The frangipane would not firm up for a long time, so I ended up baking the tart for almost an hour and a half so that the frangipane wouldn’t be too runny. By then the crust on the edge has slightly burnt, just a tiny bit. Do you think it is because of my oven temperature? Or maybe it is because I covered the whole frangipane with pears, so it is harder to get the frangipane? Would you suggest I increase it next time?
Hi Marvis! Do you mean that the frangipane took a long time to turn golden and puff up in the oven? It does sound like perhaps you added too much pear, as the entire surface of the tart is definitely not supposed to be covered, and I think perhaps the moisture from the pear (and just having no surface area exposed) would cause some issues. I wouldn’t increase the frangipane, but I would cover the tart in a similar way as shown in my recipe images.
However, it is also VERY common for ovens to run hot (or cold), so having a separate oven thermometer will always ensure more consistent results, especially if your crust was burning. Hope this helps!
I see! I definitely won’t cover the whole tart with pear next time. Even though the frangipane in my pie did not firm up, It is still super yummy!!! Can’t wait to give it another try. Nice work!
Amazing tart. Have now made twice. Had to adjust oven temp as mine runs a bit hot, but it is absolutely delicious and will impress all your guests!
So happy to hear that!! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review – it is very much appreciated by me (and other readers).
How did you get the dough to hold together without any liquid?? I had to add a few tablespoons of water??
Hi Cynthia! The egg yolk provides some liquid – that and the butter should be what brings the dough together. Please note that this is similar to a cookie dough (pate sucree) than a pie dough. They are very different, and it shouldn’t require any water! I wonder if the flour was potentially over measured, which could also explain why it was drier. I always recommend using a scale if possible or fluffing, spooning, and leveling the flour to get as close to scaling as possible. Hope this helps!
Made gluten free with King Arthur 1:1 gluten free flour for crust. Needed to use approx 5 tsp water to hold crust together but it came out perfect. Don’t care for anise so I left that out and used vanilla extract and cinnamon powder in place of vanilla paste and cinnamon sticks but otherwise followed recipe exactly. Overall it came out great and looked beautiful.
I’ve never used that flour substitute, but glad to know that you could adapt it slightly to make it work for you! Thanks for the feedback Laura! 🙂
I didn’t have almond flour, so I just food processed almonds to tiny bits. I used wild Baltimore City pears. The tart was delicious!!
So glad to hear that!
Hi does the pie crust looks very crumbly that it breaks when you hold it?
Hi Sachi! No, it shouldn’t be like this. It isn’t a pie crust, it is a pate sucree crust and should resemble more of a sugar cookie dough than a laminated dough. Did you use the proportions listed in the recipe? I haven’t heard this feedback before.
Mine was the same as Sachi’s after following the recipe. Very crumbly and couldn’t be rolled. But I was able to press it into the tart pan and it still came out nearly perfect after being baked.
Hmm…did you scale the ingredients? It should be similar to a sugar cookie dough in texture, and very smooth. My only thought is that you might be measuring your flour differently (and as a result, resulting in a drier texture). I scale my ingredients – but if you are using measuring cups, be sure to fluff the flour and spoon it gently into a measuring cup, then level.
I’ve had people make this tart before with great success, but it appears that some people are having trouble, so I may test it again and add further instruction. Glad it worked out well when you pressed it into the pan though, that would definitely work with this type of pastry dough!
Another quick note – unless you are preparing the tart dough in advance, it is intended to be pressed into the tart pan. It won’t be able to be rolled unless it is refrigerated, in which case it should be able to be rolled out. It is a delicate dough, so it may crack or split a bit, but it can be pressed together in the tart pan without any issue.
I was having this problem and I found that using three egg yolks instead of just one worked perfectly. Not sure if it’s a typo in this recipe, but I looked up other recipes for pâte sucrée and they all seem to use a larger proportion of egg yolk.
Hi! Not a typo – but I wonder if people are not using a scale (I always use a bakers scale) or dealing with drier climates, a bit more moisture could be necessary.
It does take patience to come together in the food processor – it will be crumbly and appear dry at first, but will eventually become smooth and come together well. I’ve tested it a few additional times since a few people have mentioned dealing with a more crumbly dough.
However, I may retest this with an additional yolk now that I live in a drier climate and see if it comes out better or could be a note that I could add to the recipe. Appreciate your feedback!
This sounds so delicious! Can I replace the all-purpose flour in the filling with almond flour to make it gluten free? Or should I better replace it with cornstarch? I’m using a different gluten free tart crust, just wondering about the purpose of the flour in the filling? Thank you ????
The all purpose just thickens it a bit, and provides some gluten for structure. It’s a pretty traditional addition to frangipane, but I have a feeling you could leave it out without any issues (or substitute it with a GF 1:1 flour blend if you have it, or just additional almond flour). Please let me know how it turns out!!
It appears you’ve forgotten the liquid in the tart dough…
Dianne – there is no liquid in the pie dough (aside from the egg yolk). Traditional sweet tart dough does not contain any standard liquid like water, I think you might be expecting this to be similar to a pie dough in that way? But it is not.
This was perfect! I had some pears left over and some almond flour, and this recipe was just what I needed 🙂 love it. I did have to adjust the baking time, but maybe my new oven doesn’t display the right temperature.
Can you make the tart with almond flour instead of all purpose?
I imagine you could, if you’re trying to make it gluten free. I might recommend your favorite other gluten free flour alt like coconut, to give it a different flavor as it’s quite strong in the frangipane and I think having the tart crust a different texture/flavor break from the almond is nice.
Oh no, I just spent two days making this so carefully and popped it in the oven and as I closed the door I went “oh no, the flour!” What a tragedy. I guess I will be serving pear quiche at tea today.
Oh no!!!! It was forgotten in the frangipane? If so, I think it might still be ok – or was it forgotten in the dough (can’t imagine that being possible).
I just made this for Christmas dessert and it was amazing! Tasted like it came from a fancy French bakery, the whole family was very impressed. Dad said it was the best Christmas dessert he’s had in years! This one’s a keeper for sure.
So delicious! We don’t know if the whipped cream is (optional) in our opinion though :-)!!
Hi Laura! Your Pear Frangipane Tart looks amazing!!! Perfect holiday dessert recipe! I love your photos too – they are so clear and crisp! 🙂
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Wow this is really beautiful ! We’ve given our parents the Harry and David Fruit of the Month club and sometimes can’t resist buying these pears for ourselves. This recipe is a great idea to try with them!
Hi. Just wondering if I can arrange the pear slices so they cover the filling in a fan-like pattern. Will that cause issues for the filling in terms of cooking?
You could definitely fan them out a bit more and it shouldn’t be an issue but I do like having at least some of frangipane exposed because it will brown more evenly and allow it to set better and contribute additional texture to the tart. Hope this helps!!
Thanks for getting back to me! I made this yesterday and ended up arranging the pears in a way that still allowed the frangipane to rise. It was delicious.
I’m a baking noob and this was my first tart ever and also first time making crust from scratch. My base actually cracked but I googled how to fix it and it came out perfectly fine. Also, not sure why one side of the crust kinda collapsed but it didn’t cause any major issues.
Everyone loved the tart and so did I. Thank you for the recipe.