Tarte Bourdaloue To Say Thank You

Big Bossman has been keeping me busy this past week. I had no time to sit down and write a little post for you my friends. I read the schedule for the weeks ahead and it doesn’t look any prettier, my head is spinning already. If anyone wants to adopt me – now would be a good time. I cost a lot in groceries, wine and Champagne but beside that i’m easy to get along with. I’ll even do the dishes and play with your dogs.
Look how nice i am – i baked this tartelette for my fellow expat tartelette. If you haven’t visited her blog yet you’ve been missing out on some amazing goodies, you should go check her out right away. Tartelette is a pastry chef, a talented photographer, a pioneer food blogger and a certified foot massage practitioner (okay i’m only kidding on that last one but she would probably do good after kneading so much dough). She was so kind to give me an award on her blog a few days ago so in return for her kindness i decided to bake a tartelette Bourdaloue just for her – but i’ll share the recipe with all of you. Deal? The blog award she gave me and other fellows started with the letter E but i can’t remember what it was exactly… exciting? entertaining? ennoying? (…this is a test to see if my spell-checker is paying attention ;-). Oh, and i ate the tart for her as well – since those things don’t travel too well via Fedex, you know. But it was good! haha.
This is a traditional tart from France and one of my all-time favorite. With the almond cream on the bottom and the flan-like custard on top, the tart remains very moist, and with the pears partially immersed in the custard, it is very pretty too. You can make a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator, it taste even better the next day. This recipe is from Francois Payard, the famed French baker in New York city. I twisted the proportions and the methods a little to keep it manageable but the taste stays true to the original. It is a bit of work but… oh so worth it!
Thank you Tartelette. Enjoy the tart… at least the vision of it. ha! 


Tarte Bourdaloue

(serves 6 or 8)


For the sweet tart dough (enough for two 9 1/2 inch tarts):

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

For the almond cream:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

For the tart:

  • 3/4 cup almond crean
  • One 9-1/2 inch tart shell made from sweet tart dough, unbaked
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 poached or canned pear halves

For the sweet tart dough:

  1. Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Place the butter into a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Scatter the flour mixture over the butter, add the egg and process just until the dough forms a mass; do not overmix.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least for an hour.
  5. When ready, line a greased 9 1/2 inch tart pan with half the dough. Keep the rest for another use.

For the almond cream:

  1. Place the sugar and the slivered almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. About 2 minutes.
  2. Add the butter and process until combined.
  3. Add the eggs and the almond extract if using and process until smooth. About 1 minute.
  4. Add the flour and process until combined. Reserve. The extra almond cream can be frozen until another use.

For the tart:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325’F.
  2. Scrape 3/4 cup of almond cream into the tart shell and spread it into an even layer. Bake for 14 minutes, until the almond layer is puffed but not set. Cool.
  3. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the cream and vanilla extract.
  4. Arrange the pear halves, cut side down and with the stem ends toward the center, on the almond layer. Pour the custard mixture over the pears.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes, until the custard is set and the pastry is golden brown.
  6. Cool the tart completely on a wire rack.

Be Sociable, Share!


  • Elle

    I’ll adopt you! With 4 noisy kids, one more person blends right in, and you can also keep the dogs busy.

    But you have to promise to make that tart at least once every couple of weeks. Deal?

    And congrats on your award!

  • Ann

    Looks fabulous!

  • Tartelette

    I am blushing…:)
    How did you know that Bourdaloue was my favorite tarte…hands down! Freaky…. You deserve the award!!
    Oh yeah, at the second job (where I make people lift weights while I watch, eheheh!!), they say I am part bestfriend, shrink, dominatrix and confident…now that will mess anybody’s head!!
    I hope we get to get to cook together one day!

  • Tartelette

    P.S: foot massage…I thought that was your job :)

  • Claude-Olivier

    c’est que ca a l’air divin ces petites choses !!!Tu livres en Suisse 😉 ciao

  • Helene

    I’ll love to savour a piece right now. Looks so good.

  • Kevin

    That almond cream tart sound really good.

  • Ben

    Hey, congratulations on your award. Next time I hand out awards I will keep you in mind so I can get something tasty in return, too :-p Just kidding. That tart looks really good. I want something sweet now 😀

  • waliz

    hahaha zen…now u r getting AN AWARD TOO…good for you!

  • Heather

    Gah, you’re so much nicer than me. I yell at people when they give me awards or tag me for memes. You make them an effing pastry.

  • TavoLini

    I’m a certified pear fiend…you are welcome to crash on our couch 😉

  • Anali

    Congratulations on the award! That tarte looks so good!

  • Catherine Wilkinson

    What the hell – I’ll adopt you! You don’t even have to cook much, because we’ll be all messed up on the champagne and Montrachet!
    Congratulations on your very well-deserved award!

  • acey

    awww. what a sweet person you are, zenchef. =D

    and those tartes look sinful!

  • cakewardrobe

    This looks lovely! I’ve never actually had quite the energy to go all the way uptown to Payard Patisserie but I’d love to!

  • AzAzura

    I got hungry just looking at your Tarte Bourdaloue, yum ,yum.
    I would adopt you too, you’re sweet and an excellent cook!
    Though you’ve been busy , take care of yourself xo

  • Brilynn

    Good luck on the adoption process… I like to refer to it as looking for a life sponsor. If you find one, let me know if they have an equally wealthy sibling.

  • foodhuntress79

    The summation formula of food blogs: just watch + can’t touch= Torture!

    What’s the zen- cure for a watering mouth? :)

    I love Tartelette’s blog page.

  • Function of Time

    I hear Seattle is a really good place for chefs.

  • SCB

    Congratulations Zen! That is tres fantastique!

    I don’t know about adoption but I suppose you could come over and play with my…dogs…sometime…

    SCB xoxo

  • White On Rice Couple

    Oh lucky Tartlette! She makes amazing stuff already, how about passing some of this goodness over to us? We’re short on some good pastries over here.
    The almond cream recipe is a great keeper!

  • glamah16

    I’d adopt you. But CS would be be jealous.That tart is calling my name.Stay strong with the Bossman. It’s when your not busy then they dont really need you.

  • beachlover

    Greeting from Malaysia…Sorry,didn’t visit your blog for a while…now busy vacationing in asia.Be back to NY in spring..what a delicious tart!!

  • Tigue

    Mmmm this looks so good and smells awesome too! Mine is in the oven browning now ^_^

  • Kate / Kajal

    congrats on the award.
    The tart looks yum ! lucky helen !