Tarte aux poires bourdaloue (Pear Tart with Custard)

This French classic was named for a Parisian pastry shop.

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This French classic was named for a Parisian pastry shop.




  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, refrigerated until ready to use
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 large egg stirred with 1 Tbs. cold water for egg wash


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. orange blossom water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks


  • 1 1/2 qt. water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 or 5 large pears
  • 4 whole green pistachios, shelled, for garnish


To make Dough: Place flour, salt and sugar in mixing bowl, and mix 30 seconds. Add cold butter, and cut into pieces with cheese slicer or sharp knife. Place in blender, and process 10 to 20 seconds, or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water, a little at a time, until dough sticks together slightly but is not sticky. If crumbly, add more water. Place 2 pieces plastic wrap in crisscross fashion on work surface, and place dough in center of wrap. Flatten dough with hand and fist to form flat circle, and wrap up in plastic wrap. Place on flat, round metal pan, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

To make Custard: Scald milk in saucepan over medium heat, and add vanilla and orange blossom water. Combine sugar, flour and eggs in mixing bowl, and beat until mixture is light and creamy. Add scalded milk gradually, and stir well. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, making sure milk does not scorch.  Remove from heat, but continue to stir to prevent crusting. Let cool thoroughly before filling tart crust.

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly butter or spray 11-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place chilled dough on floured work surface, and roll to about 1/8-inch thick. Measure size of dough by placing tart pan on rolled dough, and trim to size, leaving about 1 1/2 inches overlap. Fold dough in quarters, and center on tart pan. Form crust edge by crimping dough with thumb and forefinger.

To make Filling: Bring water, sugar and vanilla to a boil in large saucepan, and cook 5 minutes, or until syrupy.

Meanwhile, peel, halve and core pears. Poach pears cored side up in syrup about 5 minutes, or until just tender. Turn over, and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, and place in large container.

Continue cooking syrup until reduced by half. Pour over pears, cover and refrigerate until cool, preferably several hours. Just before baking, drain pears thoroughly on paper towels.

Place aluminum foil on dough and weight it with dried beans. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375F. Remove beans and foil. Using egg wash, paint edges of tart. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until light golden.

Spoon cooled custard in tart shell, and place poached pear halves on top, small end toward center. Place 1 pistachio half on each pear half, and serve.

Wine Suggestions

Try to point up the subtle addition of orange blossom water by pairing this dessert with Quady Essensia Orange Blossom Muscat, a perfect partner for this exquisite tart.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 960
  • Carbohydrate Content 146 g
  • Cholesterol Content 270 mg
  • Fat Content 38 g
  • Fiber Content 4 g
  • Protein Content 13 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 22 g
  • Sodium Content 460 mg
  • Sugar Content 99 g

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