Make Ahead

Tarte aux Poires et Chocolat

December  6, 2015
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

Like so many good things, this tarte was born from a what-can-I-make-without-having-to-go-to-the-store moment. I needed something kind of fancy for a holiday party, and this was whipped up in about an hour with pretty simple pantry ingredients (fortunately, I had a little heavy cream left from Thanksgiving). The recipe is adapted from one I found on Easy French Food , but features ganache instead of melted chocolate, poached pears instead of canned, less of the custard, and a version of my beloved rosemary crust. Though the recipe contains a lot of steps and components, each component is pretty simple on it's own. I thought the finished product was super chic and quite délicieuse. —lisina

Test Kitchen Notes

Overall, the tarte was good. The crust was crispy with a strong rosemary flavor. The chocolate was good, too—but next time I will double the amount of ganache. The pears were superb, with a light flavor (thanks to the white wine) that wasn’t too sweet—delicious. I will definitely make it again. —Angelica del Valle

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 1 10-inch tarte
  • For the rosemary tart shell
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup cold water, more or less as needed
  • For the pear and chocolate filling and assembly
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 pears, peeled, halved, and cored. I used Bartlett.
  • 1 pinch salt, to taste
In This Recipe
  1. For the rosemary tart shell
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all the ingredients, except for the water, until a dough begins to form.
  4. With the mixture running, gradually add the water until a uniform dough forms. Be careful not to over-mix, but the dough should be uniform and solid, more like sugar cookie dough than like pie crust.
  5. On a piece of floured parchment, roll out the dough into a round that is between 1/4- and 1/8-inch thick.
  6. Flip the paper into a 10-inch removable bottom tarte pan. Ease the crust into the corners of the tarte pan, being careful not to puncture the crust. The parchment will help with this. When you feel like the dough is well placed, peel the parchment away, and continue to gently ease the crust into the grooves of the pan. Reserve the parchment.
  7. Roll your rolling pin over the top of the tarte pan to neatly cut away the overhanging crust. Examine the wall of your shell for uniform thickness, and use any of the excess dough you clipped away to reinforce the shell.
  8. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the shell. Ten evenly distributed pricks of the fork is plenty. Return the parchment to the top of the dough and cover with the beans to weigh down the shell.
  9. Blind bake until the shell is completely cooked. Cooking time will depend on how thin you rolled your shell. Check it after 15 minutes and keep checking it every 5 minutes after that. Mine took about 25 minutes.
  10. Discard the parchment and beans, and let the shell cool completely in the pan.
  1. For the pear and chocolate filling and assembly
  2. Once the tarte shell is out of the oven, increase oven temperature to 400° F.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat egg and 3 tablespoons of sugar until the mixture is just starting to lighten. Add 1/3 cup of cream, mix a minute or so longer, and set aside.
  4. Add wine, the remaining sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, pears, and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover the pears. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer until the pears are fork-tender. Remove pears from cooking liquid, and blot on a paper towel until dry. Slice the long way into 1/4-inch sections, maintaining the shape of the pear halves.
  5. Warm chocolate and remaining cream in a double boiler. (NOTE: You can use the pan where you're poaching your pears as the bottom of the double boiler.) Stir until chocolate is melted and the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  6. Pour the chocolate ganache into your cooled tarte shell (STILL IN THE TARTE PAN!). While the chocolate is still warm, layer the pears on top, fanning the slices out in a decorative, overlapping pattern. Pour the custard mixture over the pears, enough so that the shell is full, but there is no spillage.
  7. Bake tarte for 20 minutes, until the top is golden. Let cool completely before serving.

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