Now that the weather is cooler, it’s time to turn on the oven, dust off that rolling pin and bake some beautiful pies and tarts for family and friends. Since the holidays are right around the corner and pumpkin season is here, pumpkin pie may be the first to come to mind. However with the abundance of fresh pears right now, a beautiful pear tart would be a perfect dessert for a fall get-together.
Chef NeMar Noulles has graciously agreed to share her recipe for a pear tart. A Tulsa native, she was classically trained at the Le Cordon Bleu in London. Prior to attending culinary school, NeMar worked in the oil and gas industry for 20 years. She now teaches cooking classes in her home. For more information on her classes, call her at (918) 521-2231 or (918) 583-7893.
The crust recipe is not included here, but feel free to use any standard 10 inch pie crust recipe and trim it to fit. For a richer dough, use a tart crust recipe. Chef NeMar suggests chilling the dough prior to using. Doing this will yield a more tender crust.
This recipe uses Bartlett or Anjou pears that are both available at Reasor’s.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups crushed hazelnuts
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoon dark rum
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 1/3 cup apricot jam
Preheat oven to 375.
Line a 9 ½ inch tart pan with the tart dough. Pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes. Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Partially bake the tart shell about 10 or 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool to the touch.
Lightly toast the hazelnuts, remove from the oven and let cool. After nuts are cooled, grind them up – not too fine – a medium grind.
In a bowl, stir together the ground hazelnuts, sugar, eggs, almond and vanilla extracts, rum, salt, lemon zest and melted butter. Spread evenly in the tart shell. Slice each pear quarter crosswise in slices, 1/8 inch thick, keeping each one together.
Arrange each quarter, core side down and stem end toward the center of the pan. Use your hand to flatten and fan each quarter slightly and press the slices into the filling.
Bake the tart until the filling is firm to the touch in the center and slightly golden, 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
In a saucepan over low heat, heat the jam until it liquefies. Pour through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the top of the tart with a thin coating of jam. Serve warm or room temperature.
Makes 8 servings