Pear Ginger Tart

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Choose ripe but firm pears for this delightful fruit tart. They are poached in a vanilla-scented syrup until just tender, then drained overnight; so plan accordingly. Note that most of the sugar in the syrup is drained off.


  • 1

    9-inch gluten-free dessert pastry shell (or other pastry shell of your choice), fully baked

For the pears

  • 1

    vanilla bean

  • 1 ¼

    cups water (295 grams)

  • Scant 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)

  • 2

    large ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and diced (about 360 grams/ 3/4 pound / 3 cups peeled and diced pears)

  • 2

    tablespoons chopped candied ginger

For the custard

  • 1 ½

    teaspoons cornstarch (5 grams)

  • 2

    tablespoons sugar (30 grams)

  • cup whole milk (150 grams)

  • 2

    egg yolks

  • 1

    teaspoon vanilla extract

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  1. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a paring knife. Place the water and the 1/2 cup (100 grams) of sugar in a saucepan, add the vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the syrup comes to a boil turn the heat to low, add the pears, and poach on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the pears soften slightly. Do not over-cook. Set a strainer over a bowl and carefully transfer the pears to the strainer. Refrigerate and let drip overnight. Set aside the syrup for another purpose (it’s great with yogurt or ice cream).
  2. The next day prebake the pastry [ed: please link], then turn the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons (30 grams) sugar together in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  3. Toss the poached pears with the diced candied ginger and arrange evenly over the bottom of the prebaked tart shell. Pour in the custard mixture, filling the tart 4/5 of the way so that a rim of crust is exposed. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until beginning to color and the flan has set.


  • You can make this without the ginger if you prefer. It makes a lovely pear/vanilla tart.
  • Advance preparation: You will need to begin this a day before you wish to serve, and the finished tart will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
  • Note: This tart is equally delicious without the ginger; pears and the vanilla make equally delicious partners.
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