Country-Style Gingerbread-Pear Tarts

Country-Style Gingerbread-Pear Tarts
Photo: Steven McDonald
Prep Time:
45 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs
Bake Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
6 tarts


  • Gingerbread Pastry

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup pear nectar

  • ½ cup golden raisins

  • 2 tablespoon pear liqueur or pear nectar

  • 2 tablespoon butter

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 5 medium Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (5 cups)

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • Turbinado sugar or coarse sanding sugar

  • cup sliced almonds

  • Whipped cream (optional)

  • Finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

Gingerbread Pastry

  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup butter

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 6 tablespoon cold water


  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.

    For pear filling:

  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.

Meanwhile, for pear syrup:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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.

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.

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