As I mentioned in an Instagram post earlier this week, Pear is often the underdog when it comes to Fall and pie season – with apple & pumpkin running the show .. but not in France!
Classic “Bourdaloue Tart“ (pear & frangipane), Pear & Chocolate, Pear & salted Caramel, Pear Tatin, Pear Flognarde (half way between a clafoutis and a Normandy Flan)… you name it, the French love pear tarts and pies!
This Pear Walnut Honey tart, inspired by a recipe from Saveurs Magazine (one of my favorite cooking magazines from France) is not really a classic, but makes a great use of pears. With a buttery crust and walnuts sprinkled on top, it is simply Fall-perfect.
This tart is prepared “à l‘ancienne” (old-school) which means there is an “appareil” (a cooked mixture) spread on top of the crust, before laying the fruit slices on top. The mixture here is a delicious pear compote, slow-cooked with vanilla and honey (the original recipe calls for brown-sugar, but I wanted to focus on Fall flavors with the honey).
Once the compote is cooked, let it come to room temperature and spread it on the crust. If any left, keep it in a bowl with a plastic wrap on top and place it in the fridge. It will make for a great quick snack for later on (it will last for no longer than 24 hours).
Making the crust from scratch for this tart will make all the difference, since it includes some hazelnut meal, which works perfectly with the pear and walnut filing.
I used Red pears for this cake as this is what I had on hand. You can use whichever variety of pear you might like. Ripe, but still firm pears will work best.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or share a photo using #pardonyourfrench on Instagram.
And if you’re craving more recipes with pear, try this Pear, Blue Cheese and Sausage pizza (with a home-made whole wheat crust!).
Pear Walnut Honey TartPrint This
For the crust
1 cup flour (+ a little more for dusting the working surface)
1/3 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature) ( + a little more for greasing the pan)
3 tbsp hazelnut meal (or almond meal)
½ cup icing sugar
For the filling
6 pears (variety of your choosing)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
For the crust:
Work together the butter and sugar, until creamy. Add the hazelnut meal, the icing sugar and the ½ egg (note: to get ½ egg – break the egg into a bowl, whip it and pour in only half of the mixture). Work the dough until smooth, shape it into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
For the filling:
Peel and core the pears. Dice 3 pears into cubes, place them in a medium pot, over medium heat, with the honey and vanilla extract. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the pears soften and turn into a rough puree (it’s okay if there are still small chunks of pears). Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature.
Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
Grease your 9” pie dish with butter. Take the dough out of the fridge, and roll it out on a floured working surface. Lay the dough at the bottom of the pie dish, trim the excess all around, and poke holes all over with a fork.
Cut the 3 remaining pears into thin slices. Spread the cooled pear puree at the bottom of the crust and arrange the pear slices on top (see photos).
Bake for 40 minutes, until the crust is golden.
Enjoy warm or cool.