Danielle Alvarez's Poached Pear, Orange and Pistachio Tart

This tart has a few steps but the result is incredibly rewarding - a perfect zesty, sweet frangipane filled tart.

Serves 12


Shortcrust pastry:

150g room temperature butter

35g brown sugar

35g white sugar

50g honey

250g plain flour

1 tsp. salt

Poached pears:

2 large beurre bosc pears, peeled and cut in half

100g sugar

300ml water

2 strips lemon peel

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped


150g room temperature butter

150g caster sugar

2 eggs

3 Tablespoons Cointreau

1 teaspoon orange zest

165g almond meal

40g plain flour

Pinch of salt

To finish:

2 tbls melted orange marmalade

80g sliced or chopped green pistachios


Start by making the pastry dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars on low, stopping and scraping down the bowl as needed. You are not trying to aerate here, just combine so this will happen in about 30 seconds. Add in the honey and mix to combine.

Separately, mix the flour and salt together.

Add the flour mix to the bowl and mix to bring together. Stop and scrape the bowl as needed for even mixing.

Scoop the dough out onto a large sheet of baking paper and top with another large sheet of baking paper. Roll the pastry out under the paper using a rolling pin until its 2mm thick. You’ll have excess pastry which can be re-rolled and saved for another purpose or frozen for another time.

Uncover the top sheet of baking paper and then flip the pastry into the pie platter and press it gently into the corners of the platter. Peel the baking paper (which is now on top) off the pastry, leaving the pastry in the platter. Don’t worry if it tears or breaks, you can easily patch this up with excess pastry. Trim the pastry at the edge. Place it into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 347 Fahrenheit.

After 30 minutes remove the tart from the fridge, use a fork to poke the base of the dough a few times all over and blind bake in your oven for 30-45 minutes until completely golden. Remove it from the oven and allow to cool. This can be done a day ahead.

To poach the pears, combine the water, sugar, lemon peel and vanilla in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a gently simmer. Use a melon baller or a teaspoon to scoop the core and seeds out of the pear. Place the pears, cut side up into the simmering liquid and cover with a lid. Simmer until the pears can be pierced easily with a knife, about 10 minutes. Scoop them out of the liquid and allow to cool on a plate. When cooled, cut the halves in half again, so now the pears are quartered.

To make the frangipane, place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and whip on high speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time only adding the next when the first is fully incorporated. Add the orange zest and Cointreau and mix to combine. Stop the machine and add in the flour, almond meal and pinch of salt and mix on low until combined.

Pour the frangipane into the blind baked tart shell.

Place the pears on top of the frangipane with the thin ends pointed to the center.

Bake for 15 minutes at 390 Fahrenheit and then reduce the heat to 347 Fahrenheit and bake a further 40-50 minutes until the top is golden and completely set (not jiggly). Remove from the oven.

While the galette is still hot, brush it completely with the marmalade. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the frangipane leaving the pears exposed. Allow to cool before slicing and serving.

About Danielle Alvarez

Danielle Alvarez is a professional chef living and working in Sydney, Australia. Danielle is originally from Miami, FL in the USA and previously lived and worked in Northern California. Cooking with both heart and mind, Danielle's food is created to nourish, with an eye to respecting and valuing our producers.

Danielle is pictured here with Shelley Simpson, Mud Australia Founder and Creative Director.

Follow Danielle: @daniellemariealvarez