In the winter months fresh fruit is challenging. I rotate between oranges, apples and pears. I am so looking forward to the moment when I will see stalks of rhubarb poping up at the stalls at the farmers' market as a welcome sign for the spring season. Until then I am making the most of my limited winter options. I used to eat an apple a day most of my life but since last fall season I replaced it with a pear a day. I cannot understand why I never paid more attention to pears in my life before. Pears are such a delicate and delicious fruit.
While I am having a pear every day I try to memorize a new pear species every day. Did you know that more than 5000 pear varieties exist worldwide? I was flabbergasted by the diversity of pears because I only knew a handful of pear varieties. I blame my pear ignorance to the fact that only a handful of pear varities are offered.
One day I hope I will become a pear expert and name you thousands of different pear names. But bare with me. It will take 14 years memorizing more than 5000 names, in case I memorize one new variety every day. Maybe this is not a good idea  and instead I should stick to my passion of baking and share a delicious pear tartlet recipe with you. The following recipe is a rustic tartlet with a delicious almond filling, a crunchy shortcrust dough and pears that are slightly flavoured with ginger powder. I love the pairing of ginger and pears. If you do not like ginger you can of course omit the ginger but if you are unsure about the combination, please give it a try. It is is divine.

Use pears that are not too ripe. It is the best if the pears are still firm but not hard. If the pears are too ripe the shortcrust becomes not as crispy as with firm pears.
The tartlets taste the best on the day you make them. The next day the tartlets still taste great but the shortcrust might become soft because of the filling. Store the cakes at room temperature (not in fridge!).

Makes 8 tartlets (8 cm / 3 inches in diameter) or 1 tarte (24 cm / 10 inches in diameter)

Pâte Sucrée

  • 100 g / 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 50 g / 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 egg (medium size)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 150 g / 1 1/2 cups pastry flour
* I wrote a blog post about my tips and tricks for making pastry dough here.
  • Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and the salt and stir well.
  • Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough until smooth. Form the dough to a disc and wrap the dough into clingwrap and let the dough chill in the fridge for at least one hour. You can let the dough chill in the fridge overnight as well.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and let the dough sit for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature. In the meantime butter and flour tart rings. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until 3 mm / 0.1 inch thick, Cut out circles, gently press the circles into the moulds. Trim away any excess dough with a sharp knife. Prick the bottom of each tartlet with a fork. Place the moulds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze the tart rings for 20 minutes. In the meantime prepare the filling.

Almond Cream (Frangipane)

  • 75 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 75 g / 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 1/2 eggs (medium size)
  • 75 g / 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 15 g / 2 tablespoon pastry flour
  • 1 bitter almond, optional, finely grated
  • Mix sugar and butter until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well. Add almond flour, pastry flour and bitter almond (optional) to it and stir until well combined.


  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 4 small pears (100 g / 3.5 ounces each pear)
  • 20 g / 1/4 cup almond flakes
  • Powdered sugar, optional
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F. 
  • Take the tart rings out of the freezer. 
  • Fill the tart rings with the almost cream. Make sure that you do not overfill the tart rings because the filling will rise a little bit. 
  • Peel the pears, cut each pear in half, scoop out cores. Cut each pear half into thin slices. 
  • Place each pear half onto the top of the almond cream. Sprinkle ginger powder on the pear half of each tart ring. Sprinkle with almond flakes. 
  • Bake the tartlets for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden in color. If you make one tart the baking ttime is about 30 to 35 minutes. 
  • Let the tartlets cool completely. Remove the tart rings and dust with powdered sugar if you like.
  • Enjoy the tartlets with freshly whipped cream.