Recipe: Brown Butter Pear Tart

12 Dec
Tart Before Baking

The Tart Before Baking

I can admit to not being the best baker in the world, but it’s definitely something I’m working on. The hardest part? Realizing it’s a science and that instructions must be followed and the ingredients must be measured to the T.

Luckily, this is a pretty simple recipe that’s a crowd pleaser during the holiday season. Poaching the pears gives them a nice texture and taste. The filling of this tart is rich in vanilla and complements the pairs well.

I’ve included the crust recipe I used, but feel free to buy one premade.


  • For the crust:
  • Non-stick spray (for the pan or pie dish)
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • Poached Pears

    Poached Pears

  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 4 TBSP cold water
  • For the pears:
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can of Sprite (or other clear soda)
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • 4 Bosc pears, cored and quartered (you can also peel them if you like)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded
  • For the filling:
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray 10-inch pie pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt from the crust ingredients and pulse until mixed. Add the butter and pulse until the size of small peas. Finally, add in the egg yolk-water mixture and pulse until dough is crumbly.
  3. Pour the dough into pie pan and press to form an even crust. Bake the crust in the lower third of the oven until golden brown (about 25 minutes). Reduce oven heat to 350F.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients form the poached pears, except the pears. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the pears then cover with parchment paper and a pot lid and cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes. (Parchment paper is flammable so make sure the piece isn’t so big it hits the burner.)
  6. After poaching the pears, transfer them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Cut each wedge in half, lengthwise.
  7. In a small skillet, cook the butter from the filling ingredients over medium heat until brown and fragrant (about 6 minutes). Set aside in a small bowl.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs with the sugar, vanilla seeds, orange zest and salt. Add the flour and whisk until mixed. Finally, mix in the brown butter until filling is smooth.
  9. Brown Butter Pear Tart

    Brown Butter Pear Tart

  10. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Saving three slices, arrange the pear slices in a concentric circle with the narrow edges pointing to the center. Trim the remaining slices and arrange them in the center.
  11. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the over for 1 hour, until the filling is set. Let cool before slicing and serving.
  12. Serve in large soup bowls.

You can prepare everything except for the filling ahead of time and store for two days if you want to make some of this recipe ahead of time.

I recommend serving this tart with ice cream. I served it with dulce de leche ice cream and it was a hit.

This is a great winter dessert that makes a perfect addition to your holiday dessert line-up.

1 Comment

Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes


Tags: , , , , ,

One response to “Recipe: Brown Butter Pear Tart

  1. frugalfeeding

    December 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Yummy! I adore poached pears.


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