What are the Best Tips for Baking a Pear Tart?

Amanda R. Bell

By following some of the best tips, a pear tart is a delicious baked dessert that can be relatively simple to make. A homemade, butter based crust is preferred for this type of tart, and baking it free form rather than in a tart pan is ideal. The pear filling for this open-top pie typically consists only of pears, lemon juice, corn starch, sugar, and some spices. The tart will take a little under an hour to bake in the oven; the flavor of the dish can be maximized by glazing the pear tart once it comes out.

Cornstarch is often used to thicken the filling in a pear tart.
Cornstarch is often used to thicken the filling in a pear tart.

While store-bought pastry dough can be used in a pinch, a pear tart is best made with a buttery, homemade crust. This type of dough is usually easily made and only consists of flour, water, and butter. The dough is chilled and rolled out into a rough circle. More conventional tarts, typically made in a tart pan, are usually blind-baked before they are filled. The moisture from a pear tart, however, makes a free-form crust ideal, as the edges can wrap up over the filling, holding it in place.

Cloves are commonly used to season a pear tart.
Cloves are commonly used to season a pear tart.

The filling for the tart starts with the pear. Any firm variety of this fruit can be used, with bosc pears being the classic choice. A standard size tart will usually require three to four peeled, cored and sliced pears. Mix the pears with a little bit of cornstarch to soak up extra liquid and thicken the filling, as well as brown sugar and any number of spices. Cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are all good additions to the tart. No matter what seasonings are used, it is important to always add a squeeze of lemon juice to the pear filling. The lemon juice keeps the color of the pears from looking muddy once baked and brightens the taste of the dish without adding any unnecessary salt.

Once the tart is assembled. it is ready to bake. While an even temperature of 350° Fahrenheit (176° Celsius) can be used, many bakers prefer starting the open-top pie at 425° Fahrenheit (218° Celsius) and then dropping it down to 350° Fahrenheit (176° Celsius). This allows for the top of the baked dessert to caramelize slightly, thus adding yet another layer of flavor.

After the pear tart comes out of the oven, it can then be glazed. This can add great zest to the dish as well as give it a pretty, shiny finish. Any store-bought jam can be used for glazing, although these are best applied when the tart is still very warm. For a simple homemade glaze, add 1 teaspoon of boiling water to 4 teaspoons of honey and then brushing the mixture over the crust and filling. The tart can then be served warm or at room temperature and topped with ice cream or whipped cream.

A firm variety of pears works best in a pear tart.
A firm variety of pears works best in a pear tart.

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