This recipe was the result of a happy coincidence–leftover ginger cookies and very ripe pears. Although I have eaten my fair share of pear tarts in the past, I have yet to find one with a ginger cookie crust, and that is the secret to this delicious recipe.
The result is an intensely creamy, sweet custard balanced by a spicy nip from the ginger crust. It is the perfect dessert to liven up a dreary autumn day and will impress your family, your guests and your taste buds!
As with many of my recipes, this tart will only be as good as the ingredients you use. Make sure you use very ripe pears that will maintain their shape when cooked. I recommend tasting a slice as you prepare them to be sure of their deliciousness!
- 10 ginger zinger cookies or other ginger cookies you prefer
- 1/3 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 4 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter or dairy free substitute (I like these Earth Balance sticks)
- 1 spoonful coconut oil
Combine the ginger cookies, flour and walnuts in a food processor until the walnuts and cookies have broken down and the mixture is well incorporated. Add the butter in slices and blend until a chunky dough forms.
Grease a 9-inch tart or pie dish using the coconut oil and a scrunched up paper towel. Then turn the dough out into the dish and press it down until you have a smooth crust covering the bottom and sides of the dish.
Set this aside as you make your filling.
- 4 sweet ripe pears
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup dairy free cream (I used this one)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup smooth apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Begin by peeling the pears. Then half them vertically and carefully remove the core, making sure not to break the halves. Place the halves cored-side down on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, thinly slice the halves length-wise into 1/8-inch thick pieces. Be sure to maintain the half-dome shape of the pears once they are sliced. Repeat this with the rest of the pear halves.
Slide a knife under one of the sliced halves to keep it intact as you transfer it to the prepared pie dish. Place the half on the crust so that it is touching the wall of the dish. Repeat this process with six more pear halves, placing them in a ring around the edge of the pie dish. You should now have seven petal shapes with a hole in the middle. Carefully place the last pear half in this center space to complete your flower. Set this aside for now.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until pale yellow. Pour in the cream and almond extract and stir to combine. Finally mix in the chopped almonds.
Pour this mixture over the pears in the pie dish. It should just cover the pears.
Place the tart in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Take it out when the top is slightly golden. Test for doneness by inserting a knife straight into the tart and taking it out. The tart is done if the knife comes out clean. Leave it to cool for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile gently heat up the apricot jam in a small pot on the stove until it has thinned slightly. Using a pastry brush or a scrunched up paper towel, carefully spread the jam over the top of the tart in a thin layer.
Allow this scrumptious pear and almond tart to cool for another 15 minutes before enjoying with berries and whipped (dairy-free) cream!