This simple pear tart could not be easier: a crust, some sliced pears, and a simple pear syrup made by boiling a few pear slices in some sugar and water. Best of all, even Bartletts, which usually fall apart when cooked, will attractively keep their shape in this tasty tart. While you don't need to be all fussy when arranging the pear slices in the tart, know that if you make a bit of an effort to make them look pretty when it's getting ready to bake, they'll look just nice when the tart comes out of the oven.
You can bake it in a square tart pan for a modern appeal, or lay the pears in concentric circles in a standard tart pan or pie plate for a classic and homier look.
Use your favorite store-bought crust or make your favorite pie crust recipe—this Flaky Pie Crust is a good place to start if you don't have a favorite crust recipe. While you might be tempted to use puff pastry for the crust, avoid that temptation: the juice from the pears will make such a delicate pastry soggy. Stick with the stronger traditional pie crust for this tart.
- 1 pie crust
- 3 large, 4 medium, or 5 small pears
- 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat an oven to 350F.
Line a 10-inch tart pan or pie with your favorite homemade or store-bought pie or tart crust. As you lay the crust into the pan, hold it up and let it drop and settle into any edges or corners, rather than pushing it in, to minimizing shrinking and breaking when you bake the tart. Set the prepare aside. Alternatively, you can lay the rolled-out crust on a baking sheet for a free-form tart, often called a galette. Lightly prick the crust all over with a fork. Set aside.
Cut the pears in half or quarters. Cut out and discard the core in each piece. Peel the pear pieces and cut them into even slices. Even slicing will lead to the prettiest and most evenly cooked tart.
In a large bowl toss the pear slices with 1/3 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice. Arrange the pear slices on the crust - you can just dump them in and spread them out for a very rustic dessert, or arrange them in neat rows or concentric circles for a more elegant presentation. Reserve 4 or 5 slices of pear. Crimp the edges of the crust (see how to crimp a pie crust here if you've never done it before), or roll them up a bit to create an edge if you've decided to go free-form.
Bake the tart until the crust is brown on the edges and pears are tender, about 50 minutes.
While the tart bakes, bring the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, reserved pear slices, and 1/3 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, undisturbed, until the syrup thickens, about 10 minutes. Set it aside.
While tart cools, brush it generously with the syrup. Serve the tart warm or at room temperature.
Makes 1 Pear Tart which can serve 6 to 10.