Cardamom Pear Tart

Cardamom Pear Tart With Tahini Salted Caramel Sauce

Anita Schecter 

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Refrigerate dough: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
468 Calories
25g Fat
61g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 468
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 31%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 178mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 151mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The autumn farmer's market is packed with a huge selection of gorgeous pears. Some, like ripe Bartletts, are perfect for eating out of hand. Others, like the firm Bosc pears, are ideal for cooking, poaching, and baking.

We sometimes think of fruit pies as elaborate and complicated, but a pear tart is surprisingly easy to make. The homemade pastry comes together quickly in a food processor—and store-bought is always an option when in a rush—and the fruit only needs a bit of sugar and lemon for flavor.

Adding caramel sauce transforms the simple tart into something special, especially when you add a bit of tahini. The sesame paste gives the sweet caramel a nutty flavor that really enhances the entire dessert. It's an ideal sweet treat with an afternoon cup of tea on a chilly fall day.


For the Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons ice water

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons sesame paste

  • 1 pinch sea salt

For the Filling:

  • 3 medium firm pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon

  • 1 pinch salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Make the pastry dough. Add the flour, butter, sugar, and salt to a food processor. Pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the machine running, pour the ice water through the feed tube and continue running until the mixture forms a dough ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured board, pat into a circle, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

  2. While the dough is chilling, make the tahini salted caramel sauce. Add the granulated sugar and water to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and place on low heat, allowing the sugar to melt.

  3. Continue cooking until the sugar is a very light golden brown. Add the heavy cream. Note that the mixture may bubble up. Stir to combine and then add the sesame paste and sea salt.

  4. Continue stirring and cooking on low heat until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat.

  5. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  6. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough out into a 10-inch circle and drape over a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Run the rolling pin over the edges of the pan to remove any excess dough.

  7. Peel, core, and thinly slice the pears. Toss them with the sugar, lemon zest, cardamom, and salt.

  8. Fan the pear slices across the bottom of the dough, overlapping wherever you see a gap.

  9. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden brown and the pears are tender.

  10. Drizzle the tart with the tahini salted caramel and serve extra sauce on the side when plating. You can also serve this with vanilla ice cream on top.