Warren Pear-Almond Tart


I was thrilled to receive a box of Warren Pears from Frog Hollow Farms this week. I’ve been a big fan of theirs and a long time customer and when they asked me to write a guest post and create a recipe for them, i just couldn’t refuse. I heard they’ve been reading this blog ever since i called the owner Farmer Al, the dude who looks like Will Ferrel in overalls, in a previous recipe (he really does!). I’m glad he didn’t get offended and I hope this recipe will get me one step closer to the famous tour of the Frog Hollow orchards in a golf cart with Farmer Al at the wheel.


This tart is based on the classic French Tarte Bourdaloue which is a combination of almond frangipane, poached pears and custard baked in a buttery sweet tart dough. I’ll admit this recipe isn’t very new. I first published it when the walls of this blog echoed loneliness and to make things worse, i published it with horrible photographs. Those photos aren’t great either but definitely a step up. So i decided to revamp it using Frog Hollow Warren pears with so much flavor it will make you weak in the knees. Did i mention how much i love Frog Hollow Farms fruits?


I started by peeling the Warren pears and i poached them in a sugar syrup flavored with fresh vanilla and it didn’t take long because the fruit arrived already ripe. When the tip of a small knife goes in easily, they’re ready. That step is best done a day ahead (or at least a few hours) so the pears can cool in the syrup and… flavor the syrup. A pear syrup that you can save to make some very nice cocktails later on. Or you could puree some of the poached pears, add some of the syrup and make a beautiful pear sorbet. Ideas, ideas, but let’s get back to our tart, shall we?

  • Warren Pear – Almond Tart

    • Serves 6
  • tarte-bourdaloue-6

    • 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
    • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 large egg
    • For the frangipane:
    • 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 frangipane
    • 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 vanilla bean, seeds only
    • 6 poached Warren Pears (Simmer 15 minutes in sugar syrup with vanilla)
    • tarte-bourdaloue-4

      For the sweet tart dough:
    • Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour and salt into a bowl.
    • Place the butter into a food processor and process until smooth.
    • Scatter the flour mixture over the butter, add the egg and process just until the dough forms a mass; do not overmix.
    • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least for an hour.
    • When ready, line a greased 9 1/2 inch tart pan with half the dough and chill for 30 minutes. Keep the rest for another use.
    • For the frangipane:
    • Place the sugar and the slivered almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. About 2 minutes.
    • Add the butter and process until combined.
    • Add the eggs and the almond extract if using and process until smooth. About 1 minute.
    • Add the flour and process until combined. Reserve. The extra frangipane can be frozen until another use.
    • For the tart:
    • Preheat the oven to 325′F.
    • Scrape 3/4 cup of frangipane into the chilled tart shell and spread it into an even layer. Bake for 14 minutes, until the almond layer is puffed but not set. Cool.
    • Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the cream and vanilla seeds.
    • 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.
    • Bake for 50 minutes, until the custard is set and the pastry is golden brown.
    • Cool the tart completely on a wire rack.
    • Enjoy!
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  • http://www.sassyradish.com radish

    this looks amazing!! plus i need to learn how to do make pretty fruit arrangements like this on my tarts. love the idea of keeping syrup for cocktails – my kind of efficiency!

  • http://www.mytartelette.com Tartelette

    Mon p’tit pere,arrete de dire que tes photos sont pas bien…je salive en regardant la tarte. Ca veut dire que l’effet est bon :)
    Dis, si jamais y’a de la place sur le cart de golf quand t’y vas, fais moi signe!

  • http://colloquialcooking.com Colloquial Cook

    I got to shake Farmer Al’s patoune at the Ferry building market and that in itself was an epiphany. Make that a golf cart ride with him et je ne réponds plus de rien :-)

  • http://www.mangotomato.blogspot.com Olga

    That looks so pretty and sophisticated!

  • http://andaoana.wordpress.com anda

    Gorgeous! Do you mind if I come by to taste it? :)

  • http://vanillakitchen.blogspot.com dawn

    ohh that filling sounds fabulous; almond cream, pears and vanilla bean, pefect.
    I love farmers, but don’t miss my childhood years on my parents’ farm–hard work for sure.

  • http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    I go a little crazy over this classic tart – and it’s one of the tarts that I can say I’ve truly mastered. But, flavor that makes me go weak in the knees? I still haven’t lived, but these photos are a good start!

  • http://ciaochowlinda.blogspot.com Ciaochowlinda

    A positively gorgeous tart, but where does one find almond cream?

  • zenchef

    Sassy-Radish — You’re hired as general manager of my blog. We need someone efficient around here.

    Helene — Ah ben oui, on feras de la place sur le cart!

    Claire — Toi aussi tu veux monter sur le cart! Ah ben d’accord. :)

    Olga — Zank you.

    Anda — No problem but you better hurry. :)

    Dawn — You grew up on a farm? Lucky you! Hard work, definitely.

    T.W. — I wish my name was TW. It sounds cool.

    Linda — I meant frangipane. Oops. I fixed it. Thanks for noticing.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Uh, the photos are amazing. You crazy :) I want a slice NOW! (oops, probably all gone!)
    Anyway, am I reading right that 112g of butter will fit 2 9-1/2 inch tart tins? It seems like so little! (if it is, I’m sold! Ha ha :)

  • http://oneshotbeyond.wordpress.com/ oneshotbeyond

    beautiful job on this and the photos. I love pears!

  • http://itsnotyouitsbrie.com Its Not You, it’s Brie

    I’m going to test this recipe out with my Frog Hollow CSA box this week. My co-workers will feel so lucky. And, because I work at a wine shop, I’m going to insist we open a Gros Manseng/Petite Manseng stickie from Jurancon. Or a bottle of late harvest Riesling. Or both.

  • zenchef

    Manggy — Ok, make it two 8 inches tarts. And if you don’t eat dough along the way. Good call.

    Oneshotbeyond — Thanks so much!

    Kirstin — Please do and let me know all about it! Take pictures. Love your wine picks as always. I had it recently with a Gruner Vetliner and it was very nice.

  • http://teenbaker.blogspot.com Lucy

    Mmm I think your tart sounds gorgeous! The photos have me longing for a slice :)

  • http://www.alittlebitofchristo.blogspot.com doggybloggy

    I want to ride in the cart too – I promise to only say nice things about pears and overalls!

  • http://dolceinewyork.blogspot.com Dolce

    I think it’s one of the tartes I love the most. It reminds me of my grand mother desserts… :)

  • http://mllenoelle.wordpress.com mlle noëlle of simmer down

    So glad to see you’re saving your fruit syrups for cocktails and sorbets now, instead of pitching them! Can I take a tiny bit of credit? 😉

  • zenchef

    Lucy — Thank you!

    Doggy — The golf cart is already pretty packed but sure.. jump in!

    Dolce –Same here!

    Melle Noelle — Haha.. you scolded me about the lemon syrup! I remember that. Yes! Take all the credit you want. :)

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com pigpigscorner

    Gorgeous looking tart. Would love a slice with some ice-cream please!

  • http://www.clumbsycookie.blogspot.com clumbsycookie

    Lately I’m so in love with pears! I don’t know why, I just look at pears and my heart starts to bump faster. So imagine when I see this tart!!! I love these kind of pastries, I think I could eat one all by myself and I’m not kidding!

  • http://maisondechristina.wordpress.com christina

    Thank you for sharing this with us. This is one of our favorite French desserts. We always buy it for afternoon snack.

  • Vi Vian

    hello zen, i have been a silent reader on your blog. Love your post and cooking! I dont like pears but love this. Can I ask you with regards to the sweet tart dough, you mention not to overmix the dough. What will happen if I have overmixed it? How can I recognise the overmixing mixture?

  • zenchef

    Vi Vian — The more you mix a dough the more it releases gluten. as a result it becomes more elastic so when you bake it, it’s more likely to shrink. The texture will be different also, instead of soft crumbs you’ll get something harder. The rule of thumb is to mix it just until the ingredients come together and forms a mass. No need to keep mixing beyond that. Hope that helps.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Vi Vian

    thank you. my pear tart is sitting in the oven this very moment. can’t wait to dig in!

  • Vi Vian

    Oh, my custard layer looks very eggy. Did I overbeat?

  • perfectchaos

    Dear Mr Cute Zen,

    Love your site and recipes! Just made this tart tonight and it is fantastic; may do a variation for Thanksgiving!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://arimichan01.blogspot.com Thao Phan

    I tried to make this.. of course not as good or pretty as yours but what I did make tasted yummy!!!! I love it!

  • http://colloquialcooking.com Colloquial Cook

    Dis donc mon petit chat, t’es gonflé, je viens de me rendre compte que tu l’as en double sur ton site cette recette 😛 je note au passage une diminution de 9 à 8 tbsp de beurre dans la pâte.

    Ben quoi, t’es au régime? 😎 (ok, i shut up)

  • Mala

    This seems like an old post… but hey, when you say “line the tart pan with the dough”, do you mean press-in the dough or roll it out first?