Pear, Pistachio and Cardamom Tart

Pear, Pistachio and Cardamom Tart

Posted by Kylie Suich

I got inspired by Pear and Pistachio flavours, to find this tart recipe from UK Anna Jones, which I have tweaked a bit to offer a vegan option.  

This recipe has instructions for the pastry, though if you have a store bought pastry you trust - use that instead.  And with most recipes that feature Pears, you can swap them out for crunchy Apples that are in season.  

This recipe takes about an hour to prep, an hour to chill and then baking time - so good to make on a weekend afternoon whilst doing other things. 

Ingredients for the Pastry

  • 250g plain or light spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 125g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces.  Or use a vegan margarine or coconut oil; have a bit extra to grease your baking tin/pan
  • 1 orange, zested (optional but pairs really well with cardamom)
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten  (or egg replacer)
  • 1 splash milk (mylk of your choice)

Ingredients for the filling

  • 150g ground or blanched almonds (I prefer to use hazelnuts)
  • 100g unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 250g butter
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large free-range or organic eggs (or egg replacer)
  • 2 tbsp plain or light spelt flour
  • Zest of 2 limes 
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom 
  • 2 large green pears, cored and thinly sliced
  • Honey or rice malt syrup, warmed for glazing

Make the pastry first, as it needs to chill for a while

  • Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl
  • Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs
  • Add in the orange zest, eggs and milk then by hand gently work into a ball of dough – or mix using the pulse option in a food processor
  • Don't overwork the pastry or it will become chewy when eating it, the idea is to blend everything together and that's it
  • Leave in the bowl and wrap it tightly with a clingfilm/sealed lid and pop in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Grease a 22cm nonstick loose-bottomed tart tin
  • Roll out the pastry on a floured surface, turning it a couple of times until it is approx ½ cm thick
  • Use the rolling pin to roll it up - and then unroll over your tin. Ease the pastry into the tin, pushing it into the edges without any tears so it holds the filling
  • Trim the excess of pastry off, then prick the base all over with a fork and put in the freezer for 30 minutes.  (You can use the pastry scraps cooked up to serve with a fruit compote so they don't go to waste).

Time to bake that pastry

  • Heat the oven to 180 Celsius or 160 if fan forced oven
  • Blind bake the pastry for ten minutes - use greaseproof baking paper to line your pastry tin and add in baking beans or rice and 'blind bake' for ten minutes. This process helps the pastry start to cook and hold its shape
  • Then remove the paper & baking beans/rice, baking for another 10-12 minutes, until the pastry is firm and looks like a biscuit
  • Totally cool your pastry before adding the filling - not in the fridge though as it will soak up moisture and be ruined.

While the pastry case is cooling, make your Tart filling - the frangipane

  • Put the nuts in a food processor and blitz to a powder, then add to a mixing bowl
  • Mix the butter and sugar in the food processor until soft, then add the eggs one by one until well mixed
  • Add in the nuts, the flour, lime zest, vanilla and cardamom and use the pulse setting to blend everything into a smooth, thick paste
  • Pour the frangipane into the cooled pastry case and top with pear slices fanned in circles (so it looks pretty when eating)
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes at 160-180c (depends on fan forced ovens again), until the frangipane is set and golden brown
  • Beware of the pastry edges browning too quickly before the filling is set, to avoid this cover the whole tart with foil while the cooking process finishes
  • Leave to cool before taking out of the tin and glazing with a little warm honey.
  • Enjoy - you can serve it with a coconut cream, natural yoghurt or a light fruity gelato.

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