French Pear Tart Recipe

This French pear tart recipe look beautiful and festive. The pears rest in an almond filling (also known as frangipani), which sets off their delicate flavor beautifully.

Who and What is Frangipani?

Monument to Muzio Frangipane by Alessandro Algardi, located in San Marcello church, Rome, images courtesy of

We did a deep dive into Marquis Muzio of Frangipane. He seems to have been either a renowned general, or a man with very stinky gloves…or both? The Frangipanes, after whom the tart filling is named, were an old Roman family, whose power seems to have peaked in around the 11th century.

A later descendent, Marquis Muzio Frangipane, fought for Charles V of France, receiving the Order of St. Michael, the highest possible military award. While living in Paris, he apparently started the trend of sprinkling stinky leather gloves with almond essence to minimize their odor. Perhaps his military successes gave him outlandishly stinky gloves? Or perhaps he just had a sensitive nose and couldn’t come up with a simpler solution for laundering his gloves? In any case, the fashion caught on, and French pastry chefs named almond scented pastries after him.

About this Pear Tart Recipe

This French pear tart recipe is also known in some circles as “Tarte Bourdaloue,” after a street in Paris very close to Notre Dame cathedral. A bakery on the rue Bourdaloue first began selling an almond cream based tart. Fresh pears, or poached pears, were later added to the confection. This pear tart consists of three elements – a tart shell, the frangipani filling, and sliced pears. The words “French” and “simple” seem mutually exclusive in the world of baking, so we would be lying if we said this was an easy recipe. On the other hand, this delicious recipe is just fussy enough that many would consider it an impressive dessert, perfect for the holiday season!

Apples and Pears!

Looking for more fall recipes? Here are some apple and pear based options, if this tart is just too fussy for you:

Pear Tart Recipe

Pear Tart Recipe

This pear tart recipe combines pears, almonds, and butter for some serious deliciousness!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 8


  • pastry cutter
  • 9 1/2 inch fluted tart pan
  • pie weights


For the sweet tart dough

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp water ice cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter

For the filling

  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 pears ripe

To decorate

  • 1/4 cup apricot jam


For the sweet tart dough

  • Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
    1 egg yolk, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter until the butter pieces are no larger than small peas.
    8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the cold water and vanilla.
    1 egg yolk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp water
  • Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and mix with a fork until the dough comes together in a ball. Knead 2-3 times in the bowl, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest at least one hour or overnight.
  • On a well floured work surface, or between two sheets of parchment paper, use a rolling pin to roll out the tart crust into a 12 inch diameter circle. Let rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.

For the filling and assembly

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 1/2 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (don’t assume that just because your crust has so much butter in it, it will come out without the help of a buttered pan. Also, don’t feel silly for assuming that, because we’ve done it many time!)
  • In a food processor, pulse the almonds with the sugar and salt until finely ground.
    1 cup blanched almonds, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt
  • Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract, and process until well blended.
    1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 large egg, 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • Add the butter and process until smooth. You now have made a frangipani!
    4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Peel and quarter the pears. Slice pears cross-wise into 1/4″ inch slices.
    2 pears
  • Drape the crust over the tart pan. Gently press dough into the bottom of the tart pan and up the sides of pan. Use a knife to remove any excess dough.
  • Cover the crust in foil and add some pie weights. Parbake 10-15 minutes until just beginning to turn golden. This is also known as blind baking and ensures that the bottom of the tart is nice and crispy.
  • Leave the oven on while your put the filling in the crust.
  • Scrape the frangipani into the tart crust and smooth the surface.
  • Place the pears on top of the frangipani, in a decorative pattern (we like to make a star-like shape), pushing gently into the frangipani.
  • Bake until golden and the center of the tart is set, 30-35 minutes.
  • Cool on wire rack.

To decorate

  • Heat apricot jam in a small pot on the stove and brush over the top of the tart to make shiny.
    1/4 cup apricot jam
Keyword almond, butter, French, pear, tart
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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2 thoughts on “French Pear Tart Recipe”

  1. One extra is a thin layer of chocolate right on the crust (below the pears). The error is to put too much, because chocolate quickly overpowers the rest and it’s a waste. This is where Cook Space Brooklyn can advise on the right trade-off.

    • What a fabulous idea!!! We’ll test this out next time and provide some chocolate layer advice in a future recipe update.

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