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French Cuisine: Pear Tart Bourdaloue

Slice of pear tart on a plate

This classic French recipe for Pear Tart Bourdaloue –  a fabulous tart, is not as difficult as you might think. You can substitute the pears in syrup in the recipe for tinned pears but I preferred to do it the way Chef Coquelin who invented Tarte Bourdaloue intended. (For more on this see my blog on making pear tart).

To prepare a tarte bourdaloue for 6-8 people

Pears in syrup

4 Large pears
750ml water
350g of sugar
1 Vanilla pod
Juice of half a lemon

Packet Sweet pastry

Almond cream filling

100g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
100g melted butter
1 Egg
10g cornflour
Vanilla essence
20g dark rum

Note: You’ll need to prepare the pears the night before. (Unless you use tinned pears).

Peel, core and halve the pears.

Put the lemon juice, water and vanilla pod in a pan and bring to the boil. Add the pears, simmer for 15 minutes. Take off the heat – cover with a cartouche (cut greaseproof paper to fit the top of the pan and press on top of the pears/liquid) and leave overnight to infuse.

Make the almond cream

Put the ground almonds, icing sugar and corn flour into a bowl. Add the vanilla essence, rum and egg and mix well then pop it into the fridge.

Assemble the tart

Roll the pastry out to about ½ cm thick to fit a 22cm tart tin. (I used a loose base one – makes it a lot easier to get out).

Trim the pastry round the edges and press the top of the pastry between your thumb and forefinger to ruffle the edge.

Pour the almond cream in and smooth it over. Drain the pears and place them on top of the almond cream. Some people slice them and make them into patterns.

Bake in an oven set to 180°C/Gas Mark 4/350°C for 30 minutes.

When the cake has cooled remove it from the tin. You can make it look really spectacular by brushing with a little warmed apricot jam which gives it a lovely shine, or dust with icing sugar, or sprinkle flaked almonds.


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