Custard Pear Tart with Crystallized Ginger

Custard-Pear tart_4

Pears and ginger have a natural affinity for each other. Here, fresh pears are fortified with Poire Willem, a pear liqueur, and accented with powdered and crystallized ginger. All of this is cushioned by a rich custard; it’s autumnal heaven in a crust. Note that this pear tart is a bit plain to look at, but the flavors are nuanced and sophisticated.

Image: Peter Muka

Custard Pear Tart with Crystallized Ginger
Makes: Makes 1, 9-inch tart; serves 10
  • 4 (7 to 8 ounce) Bartlett pears
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger (about 1 ounce)
  • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup Poire Willem liqueur
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  1. Coat a 9-inch loose-bottom fluted tart pan with nonstick spray and set on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Fit into pan, reinforcing sides with a double layer of dough. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. Fifteen minutes after crust goes in freezer, position rack to center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Line tart with aluminum foil and pie weights (or beans or pennies). Bake for 12 minutes, remove foil and weights and bake for 8 to 10 minutes more. The pastry should be dry to the touch, but not yet colored. Place on wire rack to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the pears into ½-inch slices. Place in a roasting pan and sprinkle with sugar, crystallized ginger and powdered ginger. Toss to coat.
  5. Roast pears for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tip of a small paring knife inserts easily but the pears still have shape and form. They should be cooked but not soft and mushy. Meanwhile, whisk together cream, sugar, liqueur and eggs.
  6. Scrape fruit into cooled tart shell and pour custard over.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until custard is set. The custard should not jiggle. Cool tart on wire rack until cool. This tart is best served the day it is made.

Bakepedia Tips

  • An easy, crackly sugar glaze adds some texture to this pear tart. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over your cooled tart and caramelize with a propane torch (carefully). Serve immediately.
  • The tart is great in the summer with plums. You can even leave the skin on. Use about 8 plums, depending on size.


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