The Best Baking Tips We've Ever Published

It's time to polish that Best Baker on the Block trophy, because these no-fail tips will take your baking to the next level.

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Country-Style Gingerbread-Pear Tarts

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  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Yields: 6 tarts
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cool: 1 hr
  • Bake: 30 mins 375°F

Country-Style Gingerbread-Pear Tarts



  1. Prepare Gingerbread Pastry. On a lightly floured surface, roll each pastry portion into a 7-inch circle. Arrange circles in an even layer on a extra-large baking sheet (circles may overlap slightly). Cover pastry circles with waxed paper or a clean kitchen towel; set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine granulated sugar, pear nectar, raisins, pear liqueur, butter, lemon juice, the 1 tablespoon ginger, the cinnamon, and salt. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar and melt butter. Add pears. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Allow pear mixture to drain well; reserve drained liquid.
  3. Uncover pastry circles. Mound about 3/4 cup of the pear filling into the center of each pastry circle, leaving a 1-1/2-inch border. Fold pastry borders up and over pear mixture, leaving filling exposed in the centers and pleating and pinching as needed.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and the water. Brush edges of the tarts with egg white mixture; sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle almonds over pear filling in tarts. Bake about 10 minutes more or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly.
  5. Return reserved liquid to the saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened and caramel colored.
  6. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer tarts to a wire rack. Drizzle with the pear syrup. Cool for 1 hour. Serve warm. If desired, serve topped with whipped cream and additional crystallized ginger. Makes 6 tarts.

From the Test Kitchen

To Bake Ahead:

/B> Prepare and bake as directed. Cool completely. Cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 24 hours; or chill for up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Gingerbread Pastry



  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, apple pie spice, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until pieces are pea-size. In a small bowl, stir together egg yolks and cold water. Stir egg yolk mixture into flour mixture just until moistened. Using your hands, shape mixture into a ball. Divide dough into six equal portions.



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