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French Pear Tart

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French Pear Tart
  • Prep Time 45 min
  • Total Time 4 hr 0 min
  • Servings 12
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French Pear Tart

A sweet sugar cookie crust topped with luscious pastry cream and fresh pears.

Ingredients

Sugar Cookie Crust

1
pouch Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix
1
stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1
large egg

Pastry Cream

2
cups half-and-half
6
tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 2 more tablespoons
Pinch table salt
5
large egg yolks
3
tablespoons cornstarch
4
tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2
teaspoons vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

Jam

2/3
cup peach, pear or apricot jam (jelly or preserves)

Pears

4
pears, cut into thin slices
1
tablespoon butter
1
tablespoon sugar
1
teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  • 1 COOKIE CRUST: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch round tart pan with non-stick baking spray and prepare cookie dough according to package instructions. Press half of the dough into an even layer in the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Reserve remaining half of the dough for another use. Freeze for 15 minutes, then bake 10-14 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  • 2 PASTRY CREAM: Combine half-and-half, 6 tablespoons sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to simmer. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a glass mixing bowl for 10 seconds before adding 2 tablespoons sugar. Once combined, add cornstarch and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 more seconds. Slowly drizzle the hot half-and-half mixture into the eggs, adding gradually and whisking constantly.
  • 3 Return everything to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until the pastry cream has thickened and 3 or 4 bubbles burst on the surface (mixture should appear thick and glossy). Immediately remove from heat and stir in the cold butter and vanilla until butter is completely melted. Pour pastry cream into a glass bowl, press plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1 hour until cool.
  • 4 JAM: Heat the jam in a microwave-safe bowl on high power in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until jam is melted and thin, straining out any chunks of fruit. Brush 1 tablespoon of the jam over the cooled sugar cookie crust and set aside 15 minutes to dry. Stir the chilled pastry cream then pour it into the crust. Cover the tart with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
  • 5 PEARS: Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet set over medium heat, then add in 1/2 cup of jam (save remaining 1 tablespoon for brushing over top of finished tart), sugar and pear slices. Stir in the lemon juice, tossing pears to coat, and heat for one more minute. Remove pears using a slotted spoon and discard liquid. Allow pears to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, then refrigerate until cold.
  • 6 Before serving, arrange the pears on top of the pastry cream. Reheat the reserved jam on high power for 10 seconds in the microwave until thin, and brush over the top of the pears. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
See Step By Step

Step By Step  

French Pear Tart

As prepared by Hungry Happenings,

This impressive tart is surprisingly easy to make—and spares you the pastry shop sticker shock.

 

Have you ever stood in front of a pastry shop or bakery case, drooling over the beautiful fruit-topped tarts? Wanting to buy one for that special date night meal or dinner party, but not wanting to pay the price? They are expensive desserts.

So, why not make one yourself? I know, they can be time consuming, so I’ve created a shortcut for you and used Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix to create the crust. The soft, sweet crust pairs perfectly with the decadently rich pastry cream filling and delicate pear slices.

This dessert is just as pretty and tasty as the expensive ones in the pastry shop, but can be made at a fraction of the cost.


French Pear Tart

You’ll start by making the sugar cookie dough. You’ll only need to use half to make your tart crust, so you can save the rest for another dessert (or simply scoop and bake some cookies to snack on!).


French Pear Tart

Be sure to spray your tart pan well with baking spray before pressing the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.


French Pear Tart

Pop the cookie in the oven and bake it until beautifully golden brown.

Now to make the decadently creamy filling for your tart. It’s a bit fussy, but SO worth the effort.


French Pear Tart

Be sure to measure out all of your ingredients before you begin—you won’t have time to do it while the pastry cream is cooking.


French Pear Tart

You’ll start by heating the half-and-half, sugar and salt in a saucepan. While that’s coming to a simmer, whisk the eggs, then add the sugar, followed by the corn starch.


French Pear Tart

Slowly drizzle the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking constantly. If you add the liquid too quickly, you’ll scramble the eggs and that’s no fun.


French Pear Tart

Now the warm liquid goes back into the saucepan to heat up again.


French Pear Tart

Stir it continuously with a heatproof rubber spatula until you see a few big bubbles pop at the surface. This will happen quickly and the mixture will become very thick and glossy. Immediately remove the mixture from heat.

If by chance the mixture gets lumpy, you can salvage it by pressing it through a fine mesh sieve once or twice.


French Pear Tart

Once it’s smooth, stir in the cold butter and vanilla.


French Pear Tart

If you use vanilla bean paste, your pastry cream will have lovely little flecks of vanilla throughout and a very vibrant vanilla flavor. I highly recommend it.


French Pear Tart

Now, transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and pop it in the fridge. This will prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the pastry cream.


French Pear Tart

While the pastry cream is chilling, you can get your crust ready. To keep the cookie from getting soggy, it’s best to brush some jam over top. But jam is a bit too thick to spread straight from the jar, so pop it in the microwave for a bit first to thin it out.

You’ll also want to remove any chunks of fruit by pressing the warm jam through a fine mesh sieve.

Then brush about a tablespoon of the thinned jam over top of the crust and set the crust aside to dry. Reserve about another tablespoon to brush over top of the finished tart. The rest of the jam will get cooked with the pears.


French Pear Tart

Slice the pears into pretty long strips, with or without the peel.


French Pear Tart

Then toss them into a hot skillet with butter, sugar, and the jam.


French Pear Tart

Let the fruit soak up the sweet flavors. Depending on how you’d like your tart to look, you can cook just until softened, or continue cooking to caramelize the fruit. Sprinkle on some lemon juice and toss to coat just before pulling the pears out of the skillet. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pears, and discard the liquid.

Pop the pears into the fridge to chill out a bit before decorating your tart.


French Pear Tart

When the tart has set and the pears are chilled then you can arrange the slices in a pretty pattern on top of the pastry cream.


French Pear Tart

Then warm up the rest of your jam and brush it over the top of the pears to give them a nice shine.

Cut into 12 slices and enjoy a piece while you soak up the compliments!
See Recipe
Tips  

Measure out all of your pastry cream ingredients before you begin—you won’t have time to do it during cooking.

Nutrition Information 
No nutrition information available for this recipe
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