Tuesdays with Dorie: French Pear Tart

January 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 59 Comments

french pear tart 

Guess what — this is my 50th Tuesdays with Dorie post!!  Seems quite appropriate that my TWD golden anniversary be celebrated with a golden dessert, chosen by none other than Dorie Greenspan herself.   Dorie has picked a French Pear Tart for the group to bake this week.

This tart is a classic French dessert.  It has three main components: pears, almond cream (frangipane) and a sweet tart dough (pâte sablée).  Dorie says that it is most acceptable to make this tart using canned pears, but here I used fresh ones, poached in a sugar syrup until deliciously soft and sweet.  Regular pie dough is flaky, but sablée is like a sweet crisp, butter cookie.  (Incidentally, we make a type of sweet tart dough at the bakery where I work.  It is affectionately referred to as “STD”…we are a classy bunch.)  When the almond cream bakes, it puffs up around the pear, becoming almost cake-like.

If you make this and poach your pears, too, please don’t throw out the poaching liquid!  I’ve learned from working in restaurants that there are a million uses for poaching liquid.  It can be made into a granita or turned into sorbet base.  It can be reduced to a thicker syrup, and used in cocktails, over ice cream or to decorate a plate (like I did here).  Or it can simply be used to poach more pears.  You can also add things to the liquid to give additional flavor, like wine, vanilla bean or whole spices.

french pear tart

I made individual tarts, which I assembled and baked off as needed, since I figured a big one would go soggy before we could get through it.  Rather than fanning out cut slices of pear, I just used one of its “cheeks” in each tartlette.  Doesn’t it look a little like a fried egg when viewed from above?  I served the baked tartlettes with a vanilla goat’s milk ice cream from Laloo’s.

For the recipe for this delicious tart, look on Dorie’s blog or in her book, Baking: From My Home to Yours  (she also has a version of  it here on Epicurious).  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll.

So, fifty recipes from BFMHTY…what are my favorites so far?  Honestly, they’ve almost all been winners, but I regularly daydream about Bill’s Big Carrot Cake and Almost-Fudge Gâteau.  What do I hope someone will pick soon?  Every month I keep my fingers crossed that Oatmeal Breakfast Bread, Coconut Tea Cake or any of the Bundts will be on our list.


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  1. On congrats on your “golden anniversary” 😉 Your french pear tart looks delicious and stunning!

  2. Beautiful tarts! Congrats on your 50th TWD post!!

  3. hello!!! Why no comments? I love this! I’m going to be very late, but I am still going to make this baby! Lovely job girl! What are the little plops on the side by the way?

  4. Oops! I just found out 😉

  5. Oh, your tarts are beautiful! I adore the whole cheek of pear poking through the almond mixture. Yum!

    Katie xo

  6. Très beau en version tartelette 🙂 bonne 50 ème participation :)..ça tombe vraiment bien, le jour où dorie choisit la recette !

  7. Great idea to make individual tarts. I would have use fresh pears too, if you could get ripe but firm pears here. So I used canned.

    And as always great pictures.

    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

  8. Congratulations on your 50th TWD post!!! What a way to celebrate, with that beyond-scrumptious tart 🙂

  9. I can always count on seeing something amazing when I stop by your blog! Your tart looks awesome and I love your presentation!

  10. Your tartlets are so cute! And I love what you did with the poaching liquid–great tip!

  11. Gorgeous tart! I love the photos too!

  12. very inviting your pear tart!

  13. I dream about that carrot cake too. It was so sweet and spicy, plus the cream cheese frosting has me rethinking my “get healthy” motto. And I’ve made that Oatmeal Breakfast Bread and it is divine. Perfect to eat in this cold winter…

  14. Looks great! I love the little tart!

  15. Beautifully done! Congratulations on 50 weeks of TWD.

  16. Amazing! Such beautiful golden color!

    Congrats on your 50th participations… wishing you many more, as I never get tired of coming to admire them!

    Thanks for the uses of the poaching liquid… I’ve kept it just for that!

  17. Good morning, great idea about the granita, sorbet and my favorite; cocktails! Did I see your marshmallows in brown bags at Dean & Deluca?

  18. What a sweet looking tart. I really enjoyed this recipe and want to make it again. I had issues placing the pears, but I won’t next time!

  19. Your tart looks fabulous and you did a great job with the presentation! Very pretty! Thanks for sharing the poaching tips.

  20. Simply beautiful. Enough said. Congrats on your 50th TWD entry! *applause* 🙂

  21. Your tarts look amazing, great photography!

  22. Your tartelette looks wonderful. We fell in love with this dessert, and it is probably now at the top of the list of favorite desserts.

  23. Its adorable! My fav part was the edges where the cream and crust were kind of chewy. Id almost like to make little cookies with the cream in the middle. YUM!

  24. Looks gorgeous! My crust didn’t brown nearly as well as yours. I tossed the poaching liquid. I’ll have to keep it next time!

  25. Lovely! And using goat milk ice cream was a good idea. I’ve had the Laloo’s stuff, and its tang would really cut that rich, buttery pastry.

  26. I really like the way that it looks with just the pear half. Beautiful!

  27. Adorable!! I love the minis that you are so very good at. You are so right to have baked them up as needed. I am regretting have a whole tart available. Congrats on 50 TWD posts!

  28. Love your adorable mini-tarts! Serving it with vanilla goat’s milk ice cream …. sounds spectacular!

    Happy New Year to you…wishing you much deliciousness in 2009!


  29. I love the pear “cheeks” peeking out – such gorgeous little miniature tarts. And vanilla goat milk ice cream…I can only imagine how delicious.

  30. We haven’t done any of the bundt cakes have we?

    Love the minis. I’ll have to give goat’s milk a chance this year.

  31. I love your pear ‘cheeks’. Nice looking tartlets!

  32. I love how your mini tarts turned out. I really want to poach the pears myself next time (the pears I bought were way to overripe). I will definitely remember to make something with the liquid too – liquid gold. Speaking of gold, Happy Anniversary and 50th to you! That is awesome!

  33. This looks so good…very pretty. Great job!

  34. Wow, 50 Tuesdays with Dorie for you, cool! You did a great job with these tarts, they look fantastic. 🙂

  35. I love your tart! The pear cheek is a great look, and I especially like how your filling looks like it almost overflowed. Thanks for the tips on the poaching liquid!

  36. 50 Dories. Wow!!! Persistence and dedication. I love it. Keep up the great work. Love the little tarts with the whole pears. They look fantastic.

  37. GORGEUS!!! What a great idea. Love the tarts, look delicious.

  38. Way to go! 50 posts in and you always wow us. Kudos!

  39. The mini tart is so cute! Congrats on 50 recipes! I’ll have to count; I’ve got to be getting close. And the Almost Fudge Gateau is one of my favorites as well.

  40. This is gorgeous, I love the idea of individual tarts!

  41. Pear cheeks — I love it! And the cheeks look perfect in their little nest.

    Happy New Year and Happy Anniversary, too! Fifty recipes — that’s remarkable!

  42. Your pictures and your tart are both lovely! Beautiful work!

  43. I don’t think I’ll be able to call it anything but STD now! ha. your tart looks lovely

  44. it looks so delicious! 🙂 thanks for the tips about the poaching liquid… hopefully i’ll get around to poaching next time instead of using canned 🙂 also, goat’s milk ice cream? sounds delicious!

  45. So beautiful!

  46. Looks delicious! You did an awesome job!

  47. Congratulations! Your tart looks great & thanks for the info on the poaching liquid 🙂

  48. LOL @ STD. Klassy with a “k”! Love it. Now I won’t be able to make the sweet tart dough without giggling. Your tart is beautiful. I am always inspired by your pictures. Congrats on your 50th TWD post! Definitely a milestone!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

  49. Very nice! That looks like it would make a good breakfast actually.

  50. Gosh Steph, your post reads just like a magazine article and your photos match. Beautifully done and very inspirational. Watch out for those STD’s he he just kidding, funny that you shared that … ha ha ha Thanks for the tips for the poaching liquid which I threw away, darn! Did you grind your own flour or use a commercial ground nut for your frangipane?
    Beautiful tarts!

  51. Thanks so much for the comments (and did you see that Dorie stopped by?)!

    AmyRuth– I actually used almond meal from Trader Joes. It is pre-ground, but they leave the skins on, so it is speckled and, I think, quite pretty (also reasonably priced).

  52. Yet another beautiful presentation of this tart! Great advice on uses for poaching liquid.

  53. I love that Trader Joes almond meal. I didn’t use it this time, but love having it on hand. I’m totally impressed with 50 TWD posts. The recipe I’ve always wanted to bake is the Swedish Visiting Cake. It might be available two years from now when it’s my turn! Lovely tart and presentation.

  54. Nice pie. 🙂

  55. I love the individual tarts. They looks so very elegant!

  56. You definitely did the recipe justice! Love the mini tarts!

  57. Congratulations on your 50th post — how great that it was the recipe Dorie chose! Your mini-tarts look fabulous.

  58. oh yum! That looks fantastic!

  59. Oh Steph, that is gorgeous! I hope your new year is going well (I need to email you soon). Congrats on 50 TWD posts, amazing. (your job sounds fun too=) I’m always impressed with your creations…

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