John's Pear and Almond-Cream Tart

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins

This dessert combines European elegance with all-American ease.


For The Dough

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For The Filling

  • 1 cup blanched almonds

  • ¾ cup confectioners' sugar

  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract

  • ½ cup apricot jam

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) pear halves, drained, patted dry, and sliced lengthwise


  1. Make dough: In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and granulated sugar; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, gradually add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water).

  2. Transfer dough (still crumbly) onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form into a 3/4-inch-thick disk; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan, pressing up sides. Run a rolling pin across the top of pan to trim the edge; refrigerate.

  4. Make filling: In a food processor, pulse almonds with confectioners' sugar until finely ground. Add butter, egg, flour, salt, and almond extract; process almond cream until well combined.

  5. Spread 1/4 cup jam on bottom of tart shell, then spread almond cream on top; chill for 15 minutes. Arrange pear slices in a fan pattern over almond cream; place tart on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and almond cream is puffed and set. Transfer tart to a wire rack; let cool in pan. Remove tart from pan. Melt remaining 1/4 cup jam; brush over tart.

Cook's Notes

You can make the dough up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate it. Feel free to use hazelnuts instead of almonds in the filling and to choose another type of jam.

Cook's Notes

To store, cover and keep at room temperature, up to 2 days.

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