A pear-almond tart doesn’t quite have the glamorous sophistication of a fresh fruit tart. It’s more like the girl next door—wholesome and fresh-faced, with a quiet, classic beauty. But as a dessert with several components—a tender crust, frangipane (almond) filling, and fragrant poached pears—this classic French tart comes with risks.
When it came to assembling the dessert, we hit several snags before we decided on the perfect presentation. First, we used too small a tart pan and weren’t able to fit all the pears in it. Then we tried using uncut pear slices and balked as the force needed to cut through the pear dislodged the frangipane filling. In the end, slicing the pears crosswise into ⅜-inch slices made for a stunning tart. But as they baked, they released moisture that turned the layer of frangipane immediately around them sticky and wet, which risked reaching the crust. To this end, it’s important to wick away the excess moisture with paper towels from the pears before placing them on the tart. This way, each part is protected, making for a dish next door that’s polished perfection.
HOW TO CORE PEARS
1. Halve the pears from stem to blossom end and then remove the core using a melon baller for a clean look.
2. After removing the core, use the edge of the melon baller to scrape away the interior stem of the pear, from the core to the stem.
ASSEMBLING THE PEAR AND ALMOND TART
1. Slice each halved poached pear crosswise into ¼-inch- thick slices, then discard the first 4 slices from the narrow end. Do not separate the slices but pat them dry with paper towels.
2. Slide a thin spatula under one of the sliced pear halves and gently lay it in the center of the tart.
3. Working with the remaining pear halves one at a time, slide the spatula under each pear and press on the slices to fan them towards the narrow end.
4. Lay the fanned pear halves attractively around the tart, with the narrow ends pointed towards the pear in the center.
Want to try for yourself? Check out our Poached Pear and Almond Tart recipe free through November 15th.