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Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Tart

 Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Tart
As a teenage foreign exchange student in the south of France, I was horribly homesick. Then my host family's grandmother Miette arrived and asked if I'd like to help her bake this nutty tart from scratch. It turned my trip around and inspired my lifelong passion for baking. Weighing ingredients, roasting nuts, kneading dough…the art of baking transcends language. — Lexi McKeown, Los A
12 ServingsPrep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
  • FILLING:
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto or 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Almond Extract
  • 1 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 6 canned pear halves, drained, sliced and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed
  • Confectioners' sugar

Directions

  • In a small bowl, mix flour, hazelnuts, brown sugar and salt; cut in
  • butter until crumbly. Gradually add ice water, tossing with a fork
  • until dough holds together when pressed. Shape into a disk; wrap in
  • plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30
  • minutes. Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface,

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Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Tart (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. fluted
  • tart pan with removable bottom. Trim pastry even with edge. Prick
  • bottom of pastry with a fork. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until blended. Beat in
  • egg yolks and amaretto. Beat in hazelnuts and cocoa.
  • With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks
  • form. Fold a third of the egg whites into hazelnut mixture, then
  • fold in remaining whites. Spread onto bottom of pastry shell.
  • Arrange pears over top.
  • Bake on a lower oven rack 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden
  • brown. Brush pears with warm honey. Cool on a wire rack. If desired,
  • dust with confectioners' sugar before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 slice equals 302 calories, 19 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein.
Wine: Sweet White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.