rustic pear tart

Rustic Pear Tart

Let’s face it, most pear tart recipes are complicated.  You have to make the dough, then let it rest.  Next you have to pre-bake the crust, or maybe go out and get some frozen puff pastry. I’ve even seen recipes calling for making the puff pastry at home (not happening).   Or, there are recipes requiring a traditional full-blown pie crust.  I have a lovely apple pie recipe I hardly ever make because it’s just too much fussing.  This rustic pear tart, on the other hand, is fairly easy and straightforward.

You don’t have to crimp the edges, or pre-bake the crust. You don’t even have to cook the pears in advance. I saw one recipe that had 22 steps! Nope. Nope. Nope. This recipe is much easier than that! There are only six steps.  Much better! The active time is about 15 minutes of work, and the whole thing is done in about an hour and a half (including resting in the fridge and baking).

First you make the dough. That’s only six basic ingredients you likely already have at home.  Then, you let it cool in the refrigerator for an hour, and press out the dough into a roughly circular shape. Next, add the fruit, sprinkle the spices on top, and bake.

I’ve made this tart with pears, because I had some extremely ripe pears I wanted to use up. If you don’t have pears, or would rather use something else, apples will work beautifully too. And, both are in season now.  Once summer comes back around, you might try it with peaches or maybe plums too.

The original recipe (which I cut in half) required a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can use a pastry cutter or two sharp knives instead. I have included instructions for both.

Rustic Pear Tart

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Category: dessert

Cuisine: American


rustic pear tart


  • 2/3 C flour
  • small pinch salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp sugar (or 1 T plus 1 1/2 t)
  • 4 T plus 1 1/2 tsp cold butter
  • 1 small egg yolk (if you have only large eggs, separate the egg yolk and white, and then pour off half the yolk)
  • 2-3 T cold water
  • 2-3 pears, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch ground ginger


  1. If you have a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt to the food processor bowl and pulse for a second or two. If not, add the ingredients to a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut up 4T of the butter into pieces, and add that to the bowl. Then add the egg yolk. Pulse (for the food processor) for about 10 seconds until it's all mixed together. If using a bowl, cut the butter up with a pastry cutter or two knives. It should be the size of small peas. Then mix everything together.
  3. Add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is moist enough to form a ball. Then wrap it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Take the ball out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Let the dough warm up as the oven comes to temperature. This will make it easier to handle. Pat the dough into a rough circle, pushing outward from the middle with your hands. Then place it on a non-stick cookie sheet (if you don't have one, line it with parchment paper).
  5. Arrange the pear slices on top. You can line them up carefully, or just toss them casually on the crust. Sprinkle the tart with the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Then add the remaining butter, cut up into little pieces, and dot the tart with it.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the crust gets brown and the fruit is juicy and tender. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Rustic Pear Tart Substitutions and Variations

  • Don’t have pears? Make this with apples instead (or try peaches in the summer)
  • Add some green cardamom to the tart (along with the other spices)
  • Replace some of the flour with ground almond meal
  • Add a little Reisling or other dessert wine to the filling
  • Top with slivered almonds

More Pear Dessert Recipes

Small Batch Ginger Pear Bread

Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

Easy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person


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