Pear Tart with slice removed

With the holidays upon us, I decided to challenge myself to baking something different. I was looking through the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated and I came across a beautiful French apple tart.  The apple slices arranged in the shape of a beautiful blooming flour. At first glance, I thought to myself, this looks complicated. 

A few hours later, I was looking in my fridge when my large bag of pears stared back at me demanding action. It was a toss up between making my easy poached pears and a pear tart, and I decided to try my hand at a pear tart. And while I'm at it, I could use some of my good fig preserves!

I'd like to think of my pear tart as the yummier cousin of the Cook's Illustrated apple tart. Sorry, I'm biased toward pears. But I did end up using their no-fuss pie crust with some modification. Trust me, friends, you'll want to know how to make this easy no-fuss crust, it will change your baking life!

Entire French Pear Tart ready to be served

So I did make my French pear tart recipe. The result? A total WIN! Absolute perfection in both presentation and taste! I know I'll be making it again soon.

Step-by-step photos for this pear tart

(scroll down for the print-friendly recipe)

Position one oven rack to middle, and move the second rack to the very top slot. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Add melted butter and combine to form dough.

Mix flour and butter together in a bowlCrust ingredients combined thoroughly in bowl

Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. With your hands press dough down to spread on bottom and onto the rims of the pan.

Dough pressed down to form thin layer in baking pie dish

Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes, or until crust turns golden brown. When ready remove crust from oven and let sit to cool. Leave oven on.

Cooked Crust in baking pie dish

Meanwhile, heat the fig preserves in microwave for about 40 seconds. Pour heated fig preserves through a mesh strainer to separate chunks from liquid.

Straining fig preserve

Now, slice five pears into ½-inch slices, discarding core.

Pears cut into slices

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large cast iron skillet. Add pear slices and 1 tablespoon water. Cover and cook on medium heat until pears are slightly tender; about 3 minutes. Remove pears onto a large platter and let sit to cool.

Pear slices cooked briefly to soften

Take the remaining three pears and cut them in the same manner. Now melt 2 tablespoon of butter in previously used cast iron skillet. Add newly-sliced pears, chunks of fig reserves, and salt. Cook on medium heat, covered, for ten minutes; stir occasionally until pears are very tender. Take a potato masher and mash the pears and fig reserves into a puree. Let cook for another 5-7 minutes or until pureed mixture reduces and thickens.

Mash pears in skillet to combine and allow to cook until sauce thickens

Transfer pear-fig puree onto the now cooled crust; spread evenly.

Fig puree transferred to pie crust and spread evenly

Now, take the cooled pear slices and begin to assemble them in layered circles, starting at the outer edges.

Slices of pears placed in a ring around top of puree-covered pie crust Sliced pears continue to be lined on top of puree filling Entire top of pie covered with slices pears

Place tart on the middle rack of the oven. Bake in 350 degree F-heated oven for 30 minutes.

Warm up the strained liquid fig preserves for 20 seconds in the microwave.When tart is ready, remove from oven and brush surface of the pears evenly with the warmed fig liquid.

Top of pie brushed with Strained fig liquid

Return to oven and place on the top rack. Broil very briefly; watching carefully until pears gain a nice caramelized look.

Remove from oven and let cool for at least 1 ½ hours before serving.

When ready, place the bottom of the tart pan on a wide can of food. Hold the ring part of the pan and carefully slide it downwards.

Removing pie ring from pie

Cut pear fig tart into eight slices and serve. Enjoy!

Freshly prepared fig tart with slice removed

Print
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Pear Tart Recipe

French Pear Tart


Description

This French pear tart recipe is a total WIN! Absolute perfection in both presentation and taste!


Ingredients

Scale

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 8 large pears, washed
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ¾ cup fig preserves
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Position one oven rack to middle, and move the second rack to the top slot.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Add melted butter and combine to form dough.
  4. Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. With your hands press dough down to spread on bottom and onto the rims of the pan.
  5. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes, or until crust turns golden brown. When ready remove crust from oven and let sit to cool. Leave oven on.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the fig preserves in microwave for about 40 seconds. Pour heated fig preserves through a mesh strainer to separate chunks from liquid.
  7. Now, slice five pears into ½-inch slices, discarding core.
  8. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large cast iron skillet. Add pear slices and 1 tablespoon water. Cover and cook on medium heat until pears are slightly tender; about 3 minutes.
  9. Remove pears onto a large platter and let sit to cool.
  10. Take the remaining three pears and cut them in the same manner.
  11. Now melt 2 tablespoon of butter in previously used cast iron skillet. Add newly-sliced pears, chunks of fig reserves, and salt. Cook on medium heat, covered, for ten minutes; stir occasionally until pears are very tender.
  12. Take a potato masher and mash the pears and fig reserves into a puree. Let cook for another 5-7 minutes or until pureed mixture reduces and thickens.
  13. Transfer pear-fig puree onto the now cooled crust; spread evenly.
  14. Now, take the cooled pear slices and begin to assemble them in layered circles, starting at the outer edges (see photo).
  15. Place tart on the middle rack of the oven. Bake in 350 degree F-heated oven for 30 minutes.
  16. Warm up the strained liquid fig preserves for 20 seconds in the microwave.
  17. When tart is ready, remove from oven and brush surface of the pears evenly with the warmed fig liquid.
  18. Return to oven and place on the top rack. Broil very briefly; watching carefully until pears gain a nice caramelized look.
  19. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 1 ½ hours before serving.
  20. When ready, place the bottom of the tart pan on a wide can of food. Hold the ring part of the pan and carefully slide it downwards (see photo).
  21. Cut pear fig tart into eight slices and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Pear Tart, Pear Dessert, Tart, French Tart, French Dessert

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

      1. Thank you. It’s my favorite thing to bake for a dessert now! It’s really full proof. Happy holidays!

  1. The tart was amazing - light, not overly sweet. Just a perfect desert and so easy to make. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. My pears were fairly ripe, so I didn't cook the top layer and only briefly cooked the ones for the mash. Also, took the blind bake of crust out before 30 min when it was lightly brown.

  3. For me the pears for the filling took so long to cook that it burned before softening enough. I think I would try cooking the pears soft without the fig reserves first and then add them in afterward. Also I could have used more direction on slicing the pears. I sliced them 1/2” thickness but they still seemed too large and thick. That being said, having thrown out the burnt filling and relied on the pear topping and the liquid portion of the fig preserves for the substance of the tart, it looks pretty good.

  4. Wow! Made this yesterday, as a trial run for Thanksgiving dessert. What a wonderful dessert. I couldn't find fig preserve or syrup, so I used peach jam that I had in the fridge. Tastes incredible. This will definitely make it to our Thanksgiving dessert table.

    1. Hello, Theresa! You can perhaps make the pie crust and filling ahead, freeze them separately, and then assemble the pie when you are ready. I have not made this pie and frozen the whole thing, so I'm not sure how well it would thaw.

    1. Hi, Bridget. I have not tried this in individual pans myself, but another reader has had success using 7 1/2" and 4 1/2" pans. Would love to hear your thoughts if you give it a go!

  5. My coworker has a young pear tree that's producing fruit. They are only half the size of commercial pears so it was a bit more work but worth the effort. I followed the recipe exactly and everyone loved it. It came together easier than expected and even with my half sized slices it looked great. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  6. I think I've made this exquisite tart at least 10 times. It's ALWAYS a showstopper that gets requested by friends and family, especially on special occasions. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  7. Great recipe although a couple of problems. Great crust - and I baked it for 30 mins - but then you bake it for another 30 mins when you add the pear and fig mixture - so that's an hour in the oven which is too long. The crust was brittle and too dark. I will make it again and blind bake for only 15 mins. I had a bag of dessert pears in the cupboard which just wouldn't ripen and I wondered if they would soften at all - but following the instructions of cooking them in butter and water really worked. I had never used figs before so I bought some (they are expensive but worth it for a treat) and I found a recipe for fig preserves which added lemon and orange juice and zest and actually the fig preserve was a huge hit in itself so that's something I will be doing again. I peeled the pears as I didn't fancy the skin on and that worked well. It was a delicious fruity tart but crust was spoiled - it would have been nicer melt in the mouth and softer and more crumbly. Definitely will be making again but with some adaptations. I wonder if some ground almonds through the fig and pear would add something nice to it - I think I will try that next time.

  8. This tart was such a big hit that I've added it to my go-to dessert recipe list. Delicious, beutiful, healthy and impressive, it cannot be beat. It does not take a lot of effort, either. I was sure the crust would get soggy, but it stayed crisp. Try it!

  9. Made this yesterday. Slicing 8 pears was a task in itself but final result was fabulous. Had a bottle of fig syrup in the fridge which was used to glaze the surface! I had to leave it longer in the oven as it was not browning as expected so the tart base was slightly burnt but nicely caramelised! It was perfect after curry 🙏🏽

  10. I needed a baking win after a cake fail the day before. This tart exceeded my expectations. Added a 1/2 tsp of Mexican vanilla to filling, So delicious and gorgeous. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks for a wonderful recipe and excellent instructions/photos.

  11. Wow, this turned out great! I decided to make a pear tart after we received 2 boxes of Bosc pears for Christmas and were worried we wouldn’t eat them all before they got mushy. This was the first recipe I came across and I happened to have a jar of fig/ginger preserves in the back of the fridge. I did peel the pears because some were bruised with tough skins. What a perfect way to use up the pears. My tart pan is 10 inches. There was plenty of dough but I used a couple extra pears. My husband thinks I’m the greatest baker, snapping photos to send to the giver of the pears. I didn’t tell him it’s just a great recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

  12. This recipe has fantastic flavor and is beautiful in color. Our experience Was that the skin on the pairs was too chewy for the rest of the tart. We love it, but next time we are going to try peeling the pairs first. I do realize peeling the pairs will likely result in a lighter color outside of the tart.