This easy pear tart with puff pastry is one of my favorite tart recipes. It's perfect for Thanksgiving because it comes together in less than an hour and requires no fancy kitchen gadgetry!
It's a simple, rustic tart that comes together quickly thanks to the help of some store-bought puff pastry, no homemade pie dough needed!
You can also create a similar effect with apples by following my French Apple Tart recipe; a real show-stopper if you want something different than the predictable American Apple Pie for Thanksgiving.
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There comes a time during the Thanksgiving prep, that one must take a few shortcuts. Between the turkey and the side dishes not to mention getting the house in order, the thought of making homemade pie dough can make anyone unhinged, let's face it we've all been there.
That's why I love my easy pear tart recipe, it performs like a champ, gives you all the "look" of an impressive dessert without all the fuss. It's simple and elegant and tastes divine!
How do you make a pear tart?
All it takes is some store-bought puffed pastry, applesauce, cinnamon, sugar, and 2 ripe pears, and in less than an hour you will have this beautiful little number to present at your Thanksgiving table. People are always so impressed by this one, but not to worry the store-bought puff pastry and the arrangement of the pears does all the work for you.
This is why I love puff pastry recipes for the holidays! It can make even the simplest recipe look like a masterpiece. If you any pastry leftover you might also enjoy making my Easier Sticky Buns, Mini Ham and Cheese Croissants of French Apple Pastries. These are also great choices for Christmas morning brunch!
Step#1: How To Roll Out The Dough
Gently roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface. If you can find the store-bought puff pastry without any seams that will work the best. I typically use Trader Joe's Puff Pastry for this tart recipe. You'll then cut out a large circle. A dinner plate works great for this. Just make sure to flour your plate so it doesn't stick to the pastry.
Then gently score a 1-inch border inside the circle, with a smaller plate or freehand, this will create the crust once it bakes. Just be careful not to cut through the pastry, it should just be a gentle score. If you have leftover puff pastry sheets, you can use them for my Tarte Au Soleil appetizer. Another easy recipe with a great "Wow" factor.
Then place your pastry round on a slice of parchment paper on a flat baking sheet. This will help you add the filling and build the design without having to move it. It also helps your tart slide off without moving it, once it's baked.
STEP#2: Prepare the Tart Filling
Then mix together some store-bought unsweetened apple sauce with ground cinnamon. Spoon a thin layer of apple sauce over the puff pastry, leaving the 1-inch border for the crust untouched.
You can really use any pears you like such as Barlett Pears or Anjou Pears. I find these green pears are the most accessible and great for baking. I love to use them in my Spiced Pear Cake Recipe. But if you can find them, try and search out the red pears.
I like to use red pears because I think they add a nice color to the tart once it is baked.
What Kind of Pears Are Red?
- Red Anjou
- Red Bartlett
- Comice Red Pears
- Forelle Pears turn red as they ripen
Being able to ask for the red pears by name is helpful if you wanted to call the store first to make sure they have them.
Can you use canned or jarred pears?
For this pear tart, I would not recommend jarred pears. They have too much moisture in them and will prevent your puff pastry from rising to its full puffy potential.
The best Pear Tart Recipe for canned or jarred pears is my Pear Almond Tart Recipe. That one is actually better with canned or jarred pears!
STEP#4: Prepare the Pears
To prepare the pears, slice off each "hip" of the pear. This will leave you with a square core.
Then slice each pear hip into ¼" slices and then place them on the tart in an overlapping pattern, keeping the size graduation the same. In order words, don't place the slices "out-of-order" since the gradation in size adds to the beauty of the tart.
Now comes the fun part. Arrange your overlapping pears in an "escargot" pattern. This is where keeping the pear slices in the same order will pay off.
You'll have 4-5 quadrants of design depending upon the size of your pears, and then I like to add a few in the center as well.
Then sprinkle the top of the pears with sugar and brush the top of the puff pastry crust with egg wash.
How Long Should You Bake Your Tart?
You'll bake your tart at 400F for 30-35 minutes. The oven needs to be at least at 400F for the puff pastry to puff up, and this also helps the pears become nice and tender too.
Once your tart is fully baked and cooled, brush some heated apple jelly on the pears and tart crust.
This will keep your pears from drying out, and create a wonderful pretty shine to your tart as well.
I like to serve this tart right on the parchment paper on a big cheese board. It helps to get the pre-cut parchment sheets. Not only will it look better, but having them pre-cut is so much easier too!
There's something so rustic, yet refined about this type of presentation. It's also really easy to serve this way too because you can cut right on the board. I even pop the whipped cream on the board as well for an easy "dessert" station.
Can you make this tart ahead of time?
Yes, you could absolutely make this tart ahead of time. Refrigerate once cooled and then pop in a 300F oven to warm through and crisp up the puff pastry. Then brush with the apple jelly.
More Tart Recipes:
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FOR PEAR TART
- 1 round store-bought puff pastry sheet
- ½ cup (120 ml) unsweetened apple sauce
- ¼ tsp (1.25ml) cinnamon
- 2 ripe red pears
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) apple jelly, heated in microwave to become liquefied (:30)
- 1 egg
- powdered sugar for garnish
FOR WHIPPED CREAM:
- 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
- Roll out puff pastry on a rimless cookie sheet lined with pre-cut brown parchment paper. Place a plate that has been floured on top of the pastry that is at least 1-2 inches smaller than the pastry round.
- Score around the perimeter of the plate to create at least a 1-2” “crust”. Mix the apple sauce and cinnamon. Spoon this mixture across the center circle creating a base for your tart. Do not go into the crust area.
- Slice off all sides of the pears, avoiding the core, in 1 slice motions. You will have 2 large sides (the hips of the pear) and 2 smaller sides, and you will be left with the rectangular core.
- Put the hip cut pears flat side down and slice very thin, ⅛” thick slices. Keep the sliced order and arrange the pear slices exactly as they are creating an escargot pattern around the tart.
- The reserve the smaller pear cuts to create a splayed pear fan for the center. Do this by slicing the pear ¼” from the top of the pear, leaving the top intact so that you can create a fan-side cut. Place that in the center and fill in your overall design with any other of the pear slices.
- Sprinkle the sugar atop all the pear. Then beat 1 egg well in a small bowl and with a pastry brush only the crust very lightly with the egg wash, being careful not to get the egg in to the score cut or your pastry won’t puff up.
- Bake for 30-35 mins until pastry are golden brown and puffed up.
- Allow to cool slightly, and then brush the pears with the apple jelly for a nice shiny finish.
- For whipped cream combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk vigorously for 10-15 mins with a wire whisk until soft peaks form, or whip with an electric mixer.
- Transfer paper and tart in one motion to a round cutting board/cheese board.
- Slice into wedges and serve with homemade whipped cream. Enjoy!
If you pastry gets to warm while arranging the pears pop it in the fridge , tray and all, for 30 mins or the freezer for 15 mins. That way when it hits the hot oven it will puff up properly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 2g