Pear Tart Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. + chilling
This lovely pear tart features warm fall spices and delicious fruit, plus a lightly sweetened cream cheese filling and a nutty, buttery crust.

Updated: Jan. 08, 2024

Don’t let apples steal all the autumnal glory. Pear desserts are equally great during fall (or anytime, really), whether it’s a delicious pie or puff, or this easy and impressive pear tart.

The nutty and buttery crust is the perfect vehicle for a slightly sweetened cream cheese layer that’s topped with thinly sliced pears. It needs a bit of refrigeration to properly set, so keep that in mind for timing. Serve slightly chilled or just at room temperature, and you’ll be rewarded with a pear-tastic hit everyone will rave about.

What are the best pears for a pear tart?

Pear TartTMB Studio

When it comes to determining the types of pears to use for a pear tart, you can use most varieties, including Anjou, Bartlett or Bosc. This pear tart recipe calls for canned (or jarred) pears, which are already soft and sweetened. If you choose to use fresh pears instead, you don’t need to poach them, although, if you have poached pears on hand, they’d be great here.

Ingredients for Pear Tarts

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour for the crust of this pear tart. You need it to bind with butter and ground walnuts for a cohesive crust. It’s fine to go gluten-free if necessary. Here are our picks for the best gluten-free flour blends that work as an easy swap.
  • Walnuts: Finely chopped walnuts give a lovely toasty, nutty flavor to the crust of this pear tart. You can swap in ground toasted pecans or even almonds if you prefer.
  • Butter: To make almost any tart crust, you’ll need a good-quality unsalted butter. Here are some of our Test Kitchen’s picks for the best butter brands.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon gives a warm spice to this pear tart. For a well-rounded flavor, a little cinnamon goes into in each the crust and the fruit topping.
  • Pears: This recipe calls for canned or jarred pears, which are already softened and sweetened, making them an excellent topping for the cream cheese center. You can also use thinly sliced pears (Bartlett works well), peeled or not.

Directions

Step 1: Make the crust

Making the filling for Pear TartTMB Studio

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a bowl, beat the butter, sugar and cinnamon until crumbly. Beat in the flour and walnuts. Spray a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray. Take the crust mixture, and press into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan to create a sturdy edge.

Flattening the mixture to make it smoothTMB Studio

Editor’s Tip: Once you pile the crumbly mixture into the pan, use the bottom of a measuring cup or a flat-bottomed glass to firmly press the crust along the bottom and up the sides. This helps create a solid, even and flatter crust throughout.

Step 2: Make the filling

Adding mixture, cheese filling, lemon pears and cinnamonTMB Studio

For the filling, beat the cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Next, add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Spread the mixture into the crust. Arrange the sliced pears over the top of the cream cheese filling, creating any pretty pattern you want. Combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar, and sprinkle over the pears.

Step 3: Bake the pear tart

Bake the tart for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven setting to 350°, and bake until the filling is set, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool the tart in the pan for one hour on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Editor’s Tip: You want to refrigerate this tart before serving because of the cream cheese filling. Think of it like a cheesecake: It’s best when cooled and set, not warm and runny. Refrigeration also helps the tart from falling apart when you slice it.

Pear Tart Variations

  • Use a different pan: If you don’t have a fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, don’t fret. Simply use a springform pan, a square cake pan or a pie plate in a pinch. If using a glass or ceramic pie plate, you may need to adjust your baking time (tarts bake differently in a metal pan). Line the pie plate or cake pan with two sheets of parchment, making sure the edges extend past the sides so you can more easily lift the tart out.
  • Make it dairy-free: You can use vegan butter and cream cheese to make this a dairy-free dessert. If you’re looking for a pear tart that omits the cream cheese altogether, try this almond pear tart or rustic pear tart instead.

How to Store a Pear Tart

Because of the cream cheese filling, this tart should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. It will last up to four days.

How to Freeze a Pear Tart

The pear tart freezes well. Once set, wrap the entire thing, tart pan and all, tightly in plastic wrap, and place it inside an airtight container or freezer-safe resealable plastic bag. Let the tart thaw in the refrigerator overnight before removing the tart pan ring. Slice and serve when ready.

Pear Tart Tips

Pear Tart sliced and ready to eatTMB Studio

Do I need to peel the pears for a pear tart?

Pears from a can or jar are already peeled, which is super easy for this pear tart recipe. If you choose to use fresh pears, it’s fine to leave the skins on something like a Bartlett pear. The skin is thin enough and adds a dimension of color. Other pears, like Asian or Bosc pears, have a slightly tougher skin that should be removed.

How do I serve a pear tart?

To really make it special, serve this pear tart with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. It’s also perfectly good on its own. You don’t need to reheat this tart, but it’s best to leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving. It doesn’t have to be fully at room temperature, but a little warmer than right out of the fridge enhances the flavor.

Watch how to Make Pear Tart

Pear Tart

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 25 min
Yield 12 servings.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • FILLING:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 ounces) reduced-sugar sliced pears, drained well and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Beat butter, sugar and cinnamon until crumbly. Beat in flour and walnuts. Press onto bottom and up side of a 9-in. fluted tart pan with a removable bottom coated with cooking spray.
  2. For filling, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Spread into crust. Arrange pears over top. Mix cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over pears.
  3. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°; bake until filling is set, 15-20 minutes. Cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 199 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 112mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fat, 1-1/2 starch.

My sister-in-law brought this pretty pastry to dinner one night, and we all went back for seconds. It is truly scrumptious. —Kathryn Rogers, Suisun City, California