Serves a Crowd

Pear Rosemary Danish

September 14, 2011
7 Ratings
  • Makes 13- by 9- inch pan
Author Notes

This recipe is based on one my grandmother used to make (and my mother still makes.) The original is for apples, specifically green apples, as in not yet ripe apples. The crust is a tender, sweet pastry crust, and my grandma and mom make it by hand. (I like the food processor, but whichever method your prefer will work.) A simple powdered sugar glaze is applied shortly after it comes out of the oven. It is typically served at room temperature, but it's also good slightly warm. It can be eaten for a sweet breakfast treat, or as a dessert or snack.

I have been experimenting with different fruit and herb fillings. My husband's favorite (so far) is the pear rosemary. I've added rosemary to the dough as well as the filling. In the first version the filling oozed juice, so I decided to add a grated Granny Smith for some extra pectin. A small amount of sugar & lemon add just enough sweetness and zing to the rosemary scented pear filling. I used Starkrimson pears, and left the skins on. I think any firm ripe pear would work, and I leave the skins up to you!

If you want to make the apple version, use green apples, no rosemary, no lemon zest or juice, and 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar in the filling. My grandma would just layer the apples straight into the crust then sprinkle with the sugar, salt, and butter. - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour

Test Kitchen Notes

This isn't your squishy grocery store danish. Even after being draped with a festive trail of icing, every inch of the dish maintains its integrity -- from the flaky, rosemary-flecked crust to the firm, sweet bites of pear in their gentle tart-savory sauce. This recipe is meant to feed a crowd and is just as good warm, room temperature, and even cold the next day (or two). In other words, it's the perfect holiday breakfast. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Crust
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • water
  • Pear Rosemary filling
  • 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 pounds firm-ripe pears
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons sugar
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • +++++++++++ GLAZE +++++++++++
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk or half-and-half
  1. Crust
  2. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes and place in the freezer. Chop enough rosemary for the crust and filling. Preheat your oven to 400º F with a rack in the lower middle position.
  3. Combine sugar, salt, and rosemary in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 30 to 60 seconds to further break up the rosemary, and infuse the sugar with the oil. Add the flour and process for 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour mixture, then pulse to combine, about 12 to 15 one-second pulses. The mixture should resemble wet sand, with some pea-sized pieces of butter. Transfer mixture to a medium sized bowl.
  5. In a small bowl whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons of water to combine. Sprinkle the egg mixture over the flour mixture and fold to combine. I generally start with a fork or spoon, then use my hands once the dough has started to come together. You may need to add another tablespoon or so of water to get the dough to come together. It is a fairly soft dough, but it should not be overly sticky.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 unequal portions, the larger being about 2/3 of the dough. Place the smaller portion in the refrigerator.
  7. Flour your counter top or a piece of parchment paper. Use a generous amount of flour to prevent the dough from sticking from the counter. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour as needed to prevent sticking to the rolling pin. Roll the larger portion of the dough out into a rectangle that is large enough to fit into the bottom, and up and slightly over the sides of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan. (About 17 to 18 inches by 13 to 14 inches.)
  8. Roll the dough onto your rolling pin, then transfer the dough to your pan by unrolling it off. Press into the bottom and sides of the dough into the pan. If needed patch tears with some of the dough overhang or by pressing together with your fingers. (The dough is pretty malleable.)
  9. Set pan aside, and make your filling.
  1. Pear Rosemary filling
  2. Quarter and core pears. Cut each quarter into 4 or 5 chunks. Place in medium sized bowl.
  3. Grate apple on the large holes of a box grater into the bowl containing the pears. Add the rosemary, lemon zest and juice, sugar. Toss until well combined.
  4. Transfer pear mixture to the prepared crust. Distribute evenly. Sprinkle with salt. Dot with butter, and set aside.
  5. Roll smaller piece of crust dough into a 13- by 9-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Transfer to the top of the pear mixture. Fold or roll the bottom crust over the top crust and flute the edges or use a fork to press the edges. (I roll the dough down if I want to flute it, or fold it for a more rustic fork-finished edge.) Dock the surface of the crust with a fork.
  6. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, turning the danish 180º after 25 to 30 minutes. The edges of the crust should be nicely browned and the top of the crust should be golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
  7. Whisk the glaze ingredients together, and drizzle over the danish after it has been cooling for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool at least several hours or overnight before cutting and serving.
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I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

139 Reviews

mbobden October 13, 2021
What size round is used in the photo associated with this recipe? I have many sized pans and prefer to make round rather than 9 x 13.
NXL September 6, 2021
Wow! The flavors are fantastic. The crust is tender, but really difficult to move that big piece after rolling out. I had to press it back together and chill it before I was successful. My limited knowledge of pastry told me that from the beginning. Next time chill for a half hour before rolling out.
angco4 December 7, 2020
Outstanding recipe! Has anyone tried, and succeeded, in freezing this? I have lots of ripe pears and Granny Smith apples, but too many sweets (is that possible??) on the counter right now.
JJ A. February 4, 2017 chilling the dough before rolling out??
hardlikearmour February 4, 2017
I just followed my grandma's instructions -- seems to work well w/o chilling, but maybe would be better with.
kaylu December 23, 2015
For the crust I added a lot more water than called for, probably overworked it, and it still came out delicious. My pears had a subtle flavor; the crust was the star of the show. I used dried rosemary (2tsp total) and that worked fine. Also, I ended up with extra crust.
A L. September 29, 2014
I was making some pâte sucrée for someone else and used it for this tarte. We love pears but not rosemary and so I substituted thyme. I also made half the ingredients for an 8" square pan. The recipe seemed more like a very large pie and so I also used a crumb topping. I left a rugged edge of the pastry sticking up and folded it over with the crumb peaking out. It turned out really well and was very beautiful. This is such a versatile recipe that I might try other combinations with the pear and other fillings. The only thing I might change is to reduce the amount of pear to make it less like a pie.
neighome September 22, 2013
Wow. Super delicious. But I'm wondering, what is the purpose of waiting several hours before serving? Thanks for a great recipe!
hardlikearmour September 24, 2013
Thanks! Dunno the purpose -- it was part of the original recipe, and we never ate the danish warm.
neighome October 6, 2013
I brought my leftovers to my co-workers, and they loved it, but several thought it was an apple tart, not pear. The granny smith apple I had used was large, and I think it slightly overwhelmed the pears. Made the danish again today, this time using only 3/4 of a large granny smith apple rather than a whole. It seemed to have enough pectin, and let the pear flavor really shine through. The crust is today, as it was last time, absolute perfection!
Ceege September 18, 2013
Want to try this recipe, but way too much (how many servings does it make??). Would like to ask Lizb a question since she made several separate coffee cakes from this. Making the two pies, did this include both a top and bottom crust for 2 pies? Thanks for any clarification.
hardlikearmour September 19, 2013
I think you'll have better luck if you cut the recipe in half and make it in an 8-inch square baking dish. There won't be quite enough crust to do 2 9-inch pies IMO. If you want to go that route I think 1 1/2 times the dough would work well -- you'd have enough to make 4 13-inch rounds of dough.
Sarah Q. May 31, 2013
This is an awesome recipe. The rosemary is perfect.
hardlikearmour September 19, 2013
Thank you!
michikodale January 22, 2012
Oh! this is a perfect recipe for me! I have some prolific rosemary bushes in my yard and garden AND my mother has a generous pear tree that gives us so many pears that we tire of the same old recipes. This is great!!!!
hardlikearmour January 22, 2012
Thank you! I hope you will give it a try next pear season.
AlisonPK December 26, 2011
After reading the comments, I decided I HAD TO HAVE this for breakfast on Christmas Day. It was good, but not as amazing as I had hoped. I agree that it would be better served warm.
hardlikearmour December 26, 2011
I'm sorry to hear you were disappointed by it.
EmilyC November 27, 2011
Just wanted to let you know that I made your danish again for dear friends who visited the morning after Thanksgiving. It's just perfect in every way and it was a huge hit all around. I just love love love the stays so crisp and flaky even after a few days. I'll be making this danish for years to come.
hardlikearmour November 29, 2011
I'm glad you and your friend's enjoyed it! Hope you had a lovely holiday!
lizb October 26, 2011
I just wanted to add that I made the full recipe, but divided the dough into something resembling thirds, and used two of them in a traditional 9" pie dish, and divided the last third in half and made two huge hand pies/turnovers. The cooking times are a little different, but if you watch it you can see when the crust browns properly. The best part of this method is that I could take the tart in the pie tin to our family brunch, and even though we ate it all I still came home to leftovers!
hardlikearmour October 26, 2011
I'm thrilled you & your family enjoyed it! I love your clever hand pie idea, too.
lizb October 26, 2011
In general I love the combination of pears and rosemary, but this tart takes it to the next level. It is REALLY amazing. I made the tart last week for a family get together and everyone raved. Including my brother-in-law who "doesn't eat baked fruit" (seriously?). I would love to try it warm, possibly with a little vanilla ice cream, but it was absolutely perfect for brunch – we didn't get up from the table until it was polished off!
EmilyC October 21, 2011
This recipe has been calling my name ever since you posted it, and I finally got a chance to make it today while visiting family. It's simply fantastic. I love, love, love the pear and rosemary combination, and the crust is so unbelievably flaky and delicious. It got rave reviews from everyone. We enjoyed it slightly warm...looking forward to "testing" it at room temperature and cold, too!
hardlikearmour October 21, 2011
Oh, Emily! Thank you so much! You've made my day ?
elaina.samardzija October 5, 2011
Great recipe and wonderful inspiration! I tried this recipe out this past weekend and it was a success. Thanks you for sharing and for all the wonderful recipes you post.
hardlikearmour October 5, 2011
Thank you, elaina! I'm thrilled you tried it, and enjoyed it, and made DOUGH! The dough is pretty heavy in sugar so it will brown pretty easily on you. If you give it a go again, make a little foil ring to cover the edges of the crust after they've browned nicely (check at 30ish minutes.) I do bake it in the lower middle rack position, too, to help prevent too much browning.
elaina.samardzija October 5, 2011
Oh my goodness! I tried your recipe and it was fantastic...except for a few crispy edges because the rack in the oven was too high up I'm imagining. It was a big hit :) I even posted my attempt at your beautiful recipe on my blog (and of course gave you full credit). Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration! I follow all the time :) Elaina :)
hardlikearmour October 5, 2011
Your photos are gorgeous! Thanks for the shout-out on your lovely blog.
elaina.samardzija October 5, 2011
Thank you so much! I'm glad you like the site :) And thanks for the tip...the foil thing will definitely be on my to do list next time! And will most likely place it a bit lower too. Thanks!
cookinginvictoria October 2, 2011
Yay -- congratulations, hla! So glad to see you in the winner's circle again. This recipe looks and sounds so delicious. And I love the fact that it is inspired by a recipe from your grandmother and mother. Can't wait to try it!
hardlikearmour October 2, 2011
Thank you, civ! I can't wait until the potluck. I'm really excited to meet everyone.
creamtea October 1, 2011
Congratulations! I look forward to trying this!
hardlikearmour October 1, 2011
Thanks, creamtea! I hope enjoy it!
inpatskitchen September 30, 2011
I've been neglect.....Congratulations on such a well deserved win!!!
hardlikearmour September 30, 2011
Thanks you, ipk! Thursday night my husband made his one pot dinner, which was inspired by you posting your Hunky Dory version!