These Pear Frangipane Tartlets, aka Tartes Bourdaloue in French, are delicious little Fall and Winter French pastries. The Sweet Shortcrust Pastry shells are filled with a light Almond Cream and topped with melt-in-your-mouth Poached Pears. These delicate pear tarts are sure to impress!
Why we love this recipe
These Mini Pear Frangipane Tarts are a classic French Pastry dessert that are the perfect combination of crispy, sweet, light and fragrant.
This recipe ticks all the boxes: a crispy, buttery pastry, a light in texture yet rich in flavour almond cream filling and delicious soft pears. It is basically a winter version of my Peach Frangipane Tart!
Pears are always a great fruit to bake with when in season. This fruit works so well with the flavour of Almonds, just like in my Almond Pear Cake. When poached in a liquid, they become so soft and literally melt in your mouth!
I love making tarts with winter fruits, whether it is these super easy Puff Pastry Apple Tartlets, fancy Orange Tart or these more complex Frangipane Tarts with Poached Pears. But don't be scared off by the long recipe - it is actually more easy than it seems!
This Pear Frangipane Tartlet Recipe combines 3 different elements:
- Sweet Shortcrust Pastry: a classic French Tart Pastry that is perfect for creamy and fruity fillings
- Almond Cream Filling (Frangipane): an easy 4 ingredients Almond-Flavoured Cream.
- Poached Pears: pears quickly poached in a liquid to get super soft, melt-in-your-mouth fruits.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
You will need 6 ingredients to make this sweet pastry:
- Butter: unsalted, soft and at room temperature
- Eggs: need to be at room temperature too
- Sugar: Powdered or Confectioner's Sugar, but I have made it with Icing Sugar and it works fine too.
- Almond Meal: a simple ingredient that will bring lots of flavour to the pastry, and also reduce the amount of gluten contained in it (a great way to reduce shrinking in the oven!)
- Plain / All Purpose Flour + Salt: the basics of any pastries.
How to make Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- Place the very soft butter and icing sugar in the bowl of your mixer and cream until pale, about 2 or 3 minutes on medium speed - photo 1 & 2
- Add the Egg, Salt and Almond Meal and mix until combined - photo 3 & 4
- Slowly mix in the Flour and stop as soon as the dough comes together - you don't want to over-mix it - photo 5 & 6
- Roll the pastry between two sheets of baking paper and place in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours in advance). Line the small pastry rings (or tartlet pans) with the chilled pastry, prick the bottom with a small fork then place back in the fridge to rest again for another hour.
- Preheat your oven on 160'F/325'F and place the pastries in the freezer while the oven is preheating. Blind-bake for about 15 minutes (the bottom should feel dry to the touch) then remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.
Read more about this pastry, including all step-by-step photos, tips and troubleshooting in my Pâte Sucrée Recipe
Almond Cream Filling / Frangipane
The second step of this recipe is the Cream. Again, this can be made in advance and assembled just before baking the tartlets.
You will only need 4 basic ingredients to make a frangipane filling:
- Butter: Unsalted, and very soft
- Caster Sugar: or fine white sugar
- Eggs: make sure they are at room temperature
- Almond Meal: preferably sifted to remove any lumps.
- Optional: flavouring like Vanilla (I used Vanilla Paste) or Almond Essence.
You can also flavour the cream with citrus zest like Lemon or Orange if you want.
How to make Frangipane Cream Filling
- Place the very soft Butter and Caster Sugar in the bowl of your mixer and cream together for 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. It should look pale and have almost doubled in size - photo 1 & 2
- Add the Egg (at room temperature) and very slowly mix until combined. Don't worry if it curdles (splits), it will come back together when you add the almonds - photo 3 & 4
- Optional: add the flavouring like Vanilla or Almond Extract.
- Mix in the Almond Meal until combined - photo 5 & 6
Either cover and keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours, or use straight away to fill the pastry cases.
Read more about this Almond Cream, including all step-by-step photos, tips and troubleshooting in my Almond Cream Filling Recipe
These poached pears are made with 4 simple ingredients:
- Water: could be replaced by any liquid you want, like Wine for example! These tartlets would be absolutely delicious with Red Wine Poached Pears. (*)
- Sugar: I used Caster Sugar, or Fine White Sugar
- Lemon Juice: needed to bring a little bit of acidity to the pears and avoid oxidation of the fruits.
- Pears: choose a fruit that is not too ripe and more on the firm side, so that the pears don't become soggy or too soft when poached.
You can also add any of your favourite spices like Cinnamon, Ginger or Cardamom, but also could poach the pears with some Lemon or Orange Zest for example.
(*) Note that you might need more or less water depending on the size of your pan - the pears need to be fully submerged in the liquid.
If you love pear desserts, make sure to check out my favourite 25 Easy Pear Desserts!
How to Poach Pears
- Place the Water, Sugar and Lemon Juice in a medium size pot and heat up until the sugar has dissolved - photo 1
- In the meantime, peal your pears (but keep the stems and cores for now) - photo 2
- Place the Pears in the simmering poaching liquid and leave to cook (on low to medium heat) for 10 to 15 minutes. They should be softer but still hold their shape quite well (*). - photo 3
- Take the poached pears out of the pot and let them cool down a bite, then cut each pear in half, remove the core and thinly slice each halves. - photo 4
(*) The time it takes for the pears to poach will depend on the variety of the fruits and how ripe they are. Make sure they are slightly soft but still hold their shapes.
Assembling the Pear Frangipane Tarts
Now that all of your elements are ready, it is time to assemble them!
- Get your partially blind-baked tartlet pastries ready on a flat tray lined with baking paper. If you have used pastry rings like me, you can remove the rings now - the crust should already hold their shapes. - photo 1
- Place the Almond Cream in a piping bag with round nozzle (or just cut the bottom of the bag directly) and pipe the cream inside each pastry shell. Only fill each pastry case about halfway up as the cream will puff a fair bit in the oven. - photo 2 & 3
- Arrange the sliced poached pears over the cream. I only used 8 pears for 9 tartlets, but you should have enough leftover slices for the last tart. - photo 4
- Bake at 160'C/325'F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastries are golden, the cream has puffed and the pears are very soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down on a cooling rack.
When fully cool, you can dust the Pear Frangipane Tartlets a little bit of Icing Sugar around the pears to finish the tartlets.
Tips to make this recipe
- Organisation is key in this recipe as you want all the elements to be ready before assembling them. All the elements can actually be made in advance (up to 24 hours ahead) then put together to finish the dessert.
- Make sure to follow the recommended resting time, especially for the pastry. This is to insure the pastry shells do not move, pull or shrink in the oven.
- For perfectly baked tart crusts, use tart rings (or tart pans) that are perforated. This helps with the circulation of the hot air in the oven and insure the crust are evenly baked.
- To line the tartlet rings, I used the 2 pieces technique: I cut thin long strips of pastry (about the height of the rings) to create the edges, then cut out circles of pastry slightly smaller than the tart rings for the bottom. Gently press the pastry at the corners to get the two pieces to stick together. Check out this tutorial for the more traditional technique.
- Ingredient temperatures are very important, especially for the almond cream. You want all of your ingredients to be at the same temperature (room temperature preferably) so that they combine properly without splitting or curdling.
- Don't overfill the pastry cases with the almond cream as the filling will puff a lot in the oven, and the weight of the fruits will also bring the cream up. Only fill about half of the height of the pastry shells with the cream.
Absolutely - but I recommend using a shortcrust type of pastry over puff pastry. You need a tart crust that will not soak too much liquid/moisture and remain crunchy.
The variety of pear you pick will affect the taste and texture of the pastries. Go for a pear that will become soft when bake but still hold its shape. Flavour-wise, it is up to you to use a sweeter or more tart pear.
You can use:
- Bosc Pear
- Anjou Pears
- Concorde Pears
For the best texture and flavour, yes. The recipe will work with fresh, un-poached pears but you will get a much crunchier texture instead of soft, melt-in-your-mouth fruits.
Alternatively, you could also use canned poached-pears - simply make sure to drain them well as you do not want to add too much liquid to the pastries.
Yes - the tartlets will last for up to 3 days in the fridge once baked, but all the elements can also be prepared in advance!
- the pastry can be kept unbaked in the fridge for up to 24 hours or partially blind-baked at room temperature for a day.
- the cream can be kept in a covered bowl or air-tight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- the poached pears can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but they will oxidise (turn brown).
These Pear Frangipane Tartlets are best served straight away, or will last up to 3 days in the fridge in an air-tight container, over individually covered with wrap/foil.
They can be eaten cold or reheated for a few seconds in the microwave.
More French Tart Recipes:
- Easy French Apple Tart
- Triple Chocolate Tart
- Chocolate and Cherry Tart
- Strawberry Tartlets with Custard
- Rhubarb Custard Tart
- Apricot Tarte Tatin
- Chocolate Ganache Tart
- Orange Tart
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Pear Frangipane Tartlets
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- 100 gr (6 1/2 tablesp.) Unsalted Butter - soft
- 40 gr (1/3 cup) Powdered Sugar
- 1 Egg - at room temperature
- 40 gr (1/3 cup + 1 teasp.) Almond Meal
- 1 pinch Salt
- 200 gr (1 1/3 cup) Plain / All-Purpose Flour
Almond Cream Filling (Frangipane)
- 50 gr (3 1/2 tablesp.) Unsalted Butter - soft
- 50 gr (4 tablesp.) Caster Sugar
- 1 Egg - medium size or equivalent to 50 grams of egg without the shell
- 50 gr (1/2 cup) Almond Meal
- 4 Pears - large
- 1,5 litre (6 cups) Water
- 50 gr (1/4 cup) Caster Sugar
- 1/2 Lemon Juice
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- Place the soft Butter and Powdered Sugar in the bowl of your mixer and cream together on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until pale.
- Add the Egg, Almond Meal and Salt amd mix until combined. Slowly mix in the Flour, stopping as soon as a dough comes together to avoid over-working the pastry.
- Roll the pastry between two sheets of baking paper (see note 1), then place on a flat tray in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour.
- Line your Pastry Rings or Tartlet Pans (see note 2) with the chilled pastry, prick the bottom of each pastry with a small fork and place back in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven on 160'C/350'F and place the tartlet pastries in the freezer while the oven is preheating. Blind-Bake for about 15 minutes (see note 3) then set aside to cool down.
Almond Cream Filling (Frangipane)
- Cream the very soft Butter and Sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or or until pale and almost doubled in volume. Slowly mix in the Egg, then add the Almond Meal. Mix to combine. Set aside (see note 4).
- Peel the pears (keep the stems).
- Place the Water (see note 5), Sugar and Lemon Juice in a medium size Pot and heat up on low. When the sugar has dissolved, add the peeled Pears and leave to poach for 10 to 15 minutes or until soft (see note 6).
- Remove from the liquid and leave to cool down, the cut each pear in half, remove the core and thinly slice each pear halves.
Assembling the tarts
- Preheat your oven on 160'C/325'F.
- Place the Frangipane Cream in a Piping Bag with round tip (or cut of the bottom of the bag)(see note 7) and pipe the cream in each blind-baked pastry cases, about halfway up (see note 8).
- Arrange the sliced Pear Halves above the Cream (see note 9) then place in the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden, the cream has puffed and the pears are soft.
- Optional: when cool, dust with a little bit of Icing Sugar to finish the tarts.
- Roll the pastry relatively thinly - about 2 to 3 mm (1/10 inch) thick.
- I recommend using perforated tart rings, which gives your the most evenly baked pastry crust. Alternatively, you can use any 10 cm / 4 inch tartlet pans you have.
- The bottom of the pastries should feel relatively dry to the touch and the pastry should have a very light golden colour.
- If baking the tarts straight away, you can keep the cream at room temperature while you poach the pears. If making it in advance, cover with wrap touching the surface and keep in the fridge.
- You might need more or less water, depending on the size of the pot you use. The pears should be fully submerged in the liquid, so add more water if required.
- The time it will take for the pears to poach might vary based on the fruit variety and how ripe the pears are. They need to be soft but still hold their shape / not be mushy when you slice them.
- If you were keeping the cream in the fridge, I recommend taking it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before piping so that it comes back to room temperature. It will be easier to pipe when softer.
- Make sure not to over-fill the pastry cases as the cream will puff a fair bit in the oven. Don't fill more than half the height of the pastry shells with the cream.
- There are only 8 pear halves, but you should have enough leftover slices to reassemble for the last tartlet.