Tarte aux poires et à la noisette sounds like a fancy-schmancy dessert but really, it’s just a French tart made with hazelnut cream and ripe pears. That’s about it. The only other embellishment is that I enhance the flavor of the nut cream with a little green anise.
Green anise seeds are usually infused in tea as a medicinal treatment for children’s stomach aches. It’s a pretty common remedy in Northern Africa. I love the sweet fragrance and the strong notes of licorice. You don’t have to add the aromatic seeds to the nut cream but I think they pair wonderfully with pears.
Being French, it still is really remarkable to me that in America, French sounding names make products sound more luxurious (and expensive). I’ve even seen some products that have names that don’t make sense in French, but I guess evoke a sense of elegance. Now that I’ve let you in on the secret, don’t be fooled by fancy French names anymore! However, if you prepare this recipe for your friends or family, make sure that you use the French name to impress them. Better to be the ”fool-er” than the ”fool-ee!”
1. Info for Tarte Poire Noisette (Pear Tart with Hazelnut Cream)
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 50mins
- Servings: 18
- Calories: 660kcal
2. Ingredients for Tarte Poire Noisette (Pear Tart with Hazelnut Cream)
- 36 tablespoons unsalted butter (4-1/2 sticks), diced, + extra for greasing the pans
- 1-½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon anise extract
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 6 whole eggs, at room temperature
- 1-¼ cups granulated sugar, to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon green anise seeds, dry roasted
- 3-¼ cups hazelnut powder, (10 ounces)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 pears (I used Bosc variety), ripe, (peeled)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup apricot preserves, warm
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. In another bowl, place the powdered sugar. Sift all the dry ingredients, separately.
- Using a handheld mixer, whisk 2 eggs with 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar until you get a pale, yellow foam. It will take about 5-6 minutes. The consistency should be very airy. Add ½ teaspoon of each vanilla and anise extracts. Stir well using a spatula. Set aside.
- Lightly oil the bowl of your food processor with a silicone brush. Add the flour, ½ cup of hazelnut powder, ¼ teaspoon of salt and remaining powdered sugar. Blend for a few seconds, then add 2-½ sticks of cold diced butter. Pulse the mixture until it forms crumbs of butter and flour. Add the egg mixture. Pulse another 3-4 times until it forms a dough. Do NOT over-mix. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.
- Once chilled, transfer the dough onto a pastry board lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough like a sandwich. Using a rolling pin, even out the dough to about ½-inch thick. Using one of the individual pie molds, create 18 (4-inch) disks of dough (scalloped-edge). Place the dough in the tart molds. Prick the dough with a fork. Stack the tartlet dough rounds, placing little squares of parchment paper between them to prevent them from sticking to each other. Chill in the refrigerator until the rest of the ingredients are ready.
- Using a mortar and pestle, finely grind the green anise into a fine powder.
- Using a handheld mixer, whisk 4 eggs with about ½ cup of sugar until you get a pale, yellow foam. It will take about 5-6 minutes. The consistency should be very airy. Add the remaining vanilla and ground green anise. Set aside.
- Cream 2 sticks of butter (at room temperature) with the remaining sugar. Pour in the egg mixture. Add the remaining hazelnut powder. Mix until the batter is smooth.
- Core and cut the pears in half. Cut the halves into thin slices. Coat them with lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
- Place about 1-½ tablespoons of hazelnut cream in the center of each tart shell. Top with pear halves. Place the hazelnut pear tartlets on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F for another 25 minutes. Before glazing the tartlets, broil for about 2 minutes to get a nice golden crust. Remove from the oven and immediately brush each tartlet with 2 teaspoons of warm apricot preserves, for a nice glossy look.
- Let the tartlets cool for a few minutes. Remove the shells from the molds. You can serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a nice cup of hot tea.
- Bon appétit!