My savory pear tart takes its inspiration from a delicious pear salad! Prepared with a simple, buttery crust that nestles layers of thinly sliced pears and crumbles of gorgonzola cheese, then finished with fresh arugula greens, walnuts, and a simple balsamic dressing drizzled over top, this tart is an elegant treat to indulge in!
Savory Pear Tart, a Baked Take on Pear Salad
Ah, the fresh, juicy pears of the season...
There are so many ways to make use of the pear's exquisite, sweet, aromatic flavor—from pies, to crumbles, to muffins... even salads!
Pear salad, prepared with slightly bitter greens, blue cheese, toasted nuts and a sweetly acidic and earthy balsamic vinaigrette, has always been such an enticing choice of salad whenever I've spied it on a menu. I love how the flavors compliment one another to create that perfect balance of sweet and savory.
Lately, I've really been longing to experiment a little in my kitchen using pears, an ingredient that I realized I never seem to use enough of in my recipes.
I enjoy eating fresh pears, but often tend to forget about them as a potential star in a simple and cozy recipe, perhaps one for a delicious appetizer.
So, I thought that now would be the perfect time to take some inspiration from that fresh pear salad and turn it into a scrumptious and savory pear tart, one that can be served either slightly warmed or even at room temp.
Topped with crumbles of gorgonzola cheese, then finished with a hefty handful of peppery arugula and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts, plus a quick balsamic vinaigrette for extra flavor, this tart recipe is my latest favorite way to enjoy sweet pears.
Perfect as a light meal on its own or as an appetizer to pass around, this deliciously rustic tart is a wonderfully cozy pick for the season.
How to Make a Pear Tart with a Savory Twist
Often times, pear tarts are primarily sweet, and prepared in a way similar to how an apple tart or apple pie would be made.
But because my pear tart has a savory slant to it, I incorporate lots of ingredients that help to create that sweet and savory balance, similar to what you'd find in a pear salad.
Here's a glance at my savory pear tart recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To begin, I like to prepare my buttery crust, and to this I add a small sprinkle of dried herbs, plus a pinch of salt and black pepper directly into the dough.
- My chilled dough is then rolled out and topped with a light base of crème fraiche, followed by a little crumble of the gorgonzola cheese.
- Next, freshly sliced pears are layered on, and then the pear tart is baked until golden-brown and the pears sweet, juicy and tender.
- While the tart bakes, I whisk up a simple balsamic vinaigrette, and have that on hand to top the greens with.
- When hot out of the oven, I sprinkle over another small handful of gorgonzola crumbles, and allow those to sort of “melt” into the pears a little.
- Once the tart is ever-so slightly cooled, I toss over top those peppery arugula greens and some toasted walnuts, and drizzle everything with that simple, homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
- To serve, I simple cut the pear tart into squares and place onto a platter to serve. (By the way, it's delicious with a crisp, white wine!)
Savory Pear Tart
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 12
Nutrition Info: 209 calories
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 9 tablespoons unsalted, cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup ice-cold water
- 2 medium red pears (D'Anjou or Bartlett), cut in half lengthwise, core/seeds removed, and sliced very thinly (I keep the skin on)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons crème fraiche
- 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- Cracked black pepper
- Pinch herbes de Provence
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 1 cup arugula leaves
Quick Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Pinch black pepper (for the vinaigrette)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Prepare your dough by adding the flour, herbes de Provence, salt and pinch of black pepper into the bowl of your food processor and pulse to combine; add in the cold butter and pulse until the butter resembles peas; then, while pulsing, drizzle in the ice-cold water until the dough comes together.
- Turn out the dough (it may be a little sticky/crumbly), form into a disc, and wrap in plastic wrap; chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or even longer if making ahead.
- Once your disc of dough has chilled and rested, preheat the oven to 375°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To prepare the filling, add the sliced pears to a large bowl and toss with the honey; set aside for a moment.
- To assemble the savory pear tart, roll your dough out on a floured work surface into a rectangular shape about 1/8” thickness (about 14” x 12”), and place the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet; crimp the edges with your fingers, making a little “lip”, then spread the crème fraiche over the bottom of the dough, and sprinkle over half of the gorgonzola cheese.
- Layer evenly with the thinly sliced pears, then add a pinch of cracked black pepper and herbes de Provence over top.
- Whisk the egg with a touch of water to make the egg wash, and brush a little over the crimped edge of the tart; then, bake the tart for about 55 minutes, or until golden-brown.
- While the tart bakes, prepare the balsamic vinaigrette by adding the balsamic vinegar to a bowl, along with the honey, the salt and the pepper; then, while slowly drizzling in the olive oil, whisk the mixture until emulsified and well-combined; set aside.
- Once the tart is baked and still warm, sprinkle with the remainder of the gorgonzola cheese, as well as half of the toasted, chopped walnuts, and allow to cool on the baking sheet until warm, or even room temp, about 25 minutes.
- Finish by adding the arugula greens over top along with the rest of the walnuts, and drizzle over about 3 tablespoons or so of the balsamic vinaigrette; then, cut and enjoy!
Tips & Tidbits for my Savory Pear Tart:
- Sweet, delicious pears: The red D'Anjou or Bartlett pears are my choice for this recipe, and I like to select pears that are only slightly soft without being overly ripe. This way they can still be easily sliced and will have just a touch of “bite” to them once out of the oven, yet won't overly release juices.
- Gorgonzola cheese, or other tasty options: Gorgonzola cheese is an Italian blue-veined cheese, and can be either slightly creamy or crumbly, with a nice savory kick. You can substitute regular blue cheese crumbles if you prefer, or even opt for goat cheese.
- Bitter greens: I love the flavor of arugula, but feel free to use mixed greens, frisee, or any other slightly peppery, spicy greens, as these help to create that flavor balance.
- Toasted nuts: Toasted walnuts (or even candied walnuts) are a terrific pairing with this pear tart, but feel free to use pecans, pine nuts or even hazel nuts. You can even leave the nuts off altogether, if you desire.
- Easy, homemade balsamic vinaigrette, or store-bought: I whisk together only three main ingredients for this quick balsamic dressing, but you can totally use store bought if you prefer a short cut.