This pear tart is the perfect combination of buttery crisp pastry and sweet, firm pears. The pears are not peeled for this hearty and rustic European dessert.
This tart looks lovely when pulled from the oven, with its pastry all browned and crispy, and pears all soft and sweet, with lightly caramelized edges. It is excellent served warm with a small (or large) scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The pastry used for this pear tart is Pâte Brisée (‘paht bree-ZAY’) which is a French shortcrust pastry dough made from a mixture of flour, a little sweetener, salt, butter, and cold/ice water. It has a high ratio of fat to flour which gives the pastry its crisp and crumbly texture and buttery flavor. It is the perfect stage for fresh fruit at the peak of ripeness.
The fruit for this pear tart came from a friend who had more than she knew what to do with. I do encourage foraging (but ask permission first) to become more independent of stores and to cut your food bills.
The Rustic Pear Tart
This wrinkled and much-loved recipe, found long ago in a magazine, is very easy to make. It is also not a problem to substitute healthy ingredients (below) for the less refined ingredients (white flour and white sugar). The finished tart we make is huge, and the size in the magazine picture is deceiving. It could easily yield 10 or more hearty servings.
Fruit Tart Ingredients:
Pâte Brisée Preparation
In a food processor
- In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse for a few seconds at a time until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water and pulse again until the dough just begins to form. Add water as needed. Remove the dough from the food processor and form into one large ball of dough.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Blend the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or with two knives to get a grainy texture where you can find small pieces of butter the size of peas. Add the water gradually, a spoonful at a time, just until the mixture holds when pressed between the fingers. Form into large ball of dough.
- Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a floured work surface or between two sheets of parchment paper in a 3 to 4-mm (1/8-inch) thick 14″ circle.
- Transfer (by folding gently over into half and then half again leaving the top parchment paper in place) and unfold onto your pizza pan or baking stone.
- We used whole wheat flour (King Arthur brand) instead of the white flour in the same amounts.
- You must use butter ~ nothing else will work well at all!
- We use 6 – 7 pears for a fuller center.
- We used an equal amount of honey or organic cane sugar instead of white sugar. For a less sweet dessert, you can cut the honey slightly since it is somewhat sweeter than sugar.
- Leaving the pears unpeeled will not change the outcome of the recipe in-the-least! Provides extra fiber, saves time and gives an Old World feel.
- We used 1/2 c. walnuts instead of 1/4 c. almonds because we had them on hand and also added several dashes of ground ginger. We have added raisins in the past.
- Don’t over-stir the pears when adding to the mixing bowl of ingredients – so they doesn’t look mushy.
- Spoon the filling onto the pastry.
- Simply pull the sides up and around the filling.
- Dot with butter…or add the glaze topping as in the magazine photo above.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and bubbling!
You can make pear tart up ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator to pop into the oven at the right time.
Since it is best served while still hot from the oven, we bake it during the meal and serve it piping hot from the oven. It makes quite a presentation and is another way of making your home beautiful!
We have always received raves of delight from my husband and sons when this is served pear tart. My daughter loves to make it for us!
It makes the house smell all warm and sweet. Served with vanilla ice cream and a big glass of raw milk, rustic pear tart is the best!
Many blessings to you and your household.
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