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Pear Tart with Pecan Crust

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS
  • SERVINGS: Makes one 11 1/2-inch tart
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

This tart combines sweet fall pears in a rich, nutty crust full of buttery pecans. The whipped cream topping sweetened with honey and speckled with toasted pecans pushes the dessert over the top.

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Tart

  1. 1 1/2 cups pecans (6 ounces)
  2. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  3. 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 stick plus 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  6. 6 tablespoons ice water
  7. 8 firm ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  8. 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  9. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  10. 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Whipped Cream

  1. 3/4 cup pecans
  2. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  3. 3 tablespoons honey
  1. In a food processor, pulse the pecans with 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar until finely ground. Add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse just until the dough is the size of small peas. Add the ice water and pulse just until evenly moistened. Transfer the dough to a work surface and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 16-inch round about 1/4 inch thick. Fit the dough into an 11 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and trim the overhang. Pat the scraps into a disk and roll out to a 12-inch round. Cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips. Transfer the strips to a baking sheet. Refrigerate the dough strips and tart shell until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, toss the pears with the light brown sugar, lemon juice, vanilla seeds and the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
  4. Set the tart shell on a large rimmed baking sheet. Scrape the filling into the shell. Lay 5 evenly spaced strips of dough over the tart; lay the remaining 5 strips of dough perpendicularly to the others to form a crosshatch pattern. Trim the strips as necessary and press the ends against the tart rim to adhere. Bake the tart for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer to a rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast in the oven for about 6 minutes, until fragrant. Let the nuts cool, then coarsely chop them. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream with the honey. Fold in the chopped pecans.
  6. Remove the tart from the pan and transfer to a platter. Cut into wedges and serve each with a dollop of the honey-pecan whipped cream.
Make Ahead The unbaked tart can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours. The baked tart can be kept at room temperature overnight. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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