Pear and almond cream tart “Bourdaloue tart” – Christophe Felder & Camille Lesecq.


Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves: Serves 8 :

Pear and almond cream tart also known as “Bourdaloue tart” is a classic of French pastry and more precisely Parisian one. It was created in the middle of the 19th century by a chef whose pastry shop was established on rue Bourdaloue, hence the name of the tart.

The composition of the Bourdaloue tart is quite simple. It is based on a sweet pastry, almond cream and poached pears.

What is Chefs Felder and Lesecq’s pear and almond cream tart made of ?

The recipe that I am sharing with you today is taken from the book “Gâteaux”. I was attracted by the aspect of the tart, this square shape and these randomly arranged pears. I found it very modern and a change from the classic form of the Bourdaloue tart which consists of arranging poached pears in rosettes and decorating the visible part of the cream with flaked almonds.

Their pear and almond cream tart is made from a sweet pastry dough which is just magnificent, it is really so good, crumbly and cuts very easily. The cream, for its part, is flavored with pistachio and kirsch, I replaced it with orange blossom which goes wonderfully with pistachio and almond. The tart is then garnished with pears.

The chefs advise opting for the Bartlett followed by the comice, according to them you should choose them ripe, juicy and sweet but quite firm. I used conferences, they were not ripe enough so I poached them. Once cooked, the tart is decorated with lightly roasted flaked almonds.

This tart is a real delight, I really advise you to make it.

If you like tarts I suggest these two tarts that I particularly like: “the famous raspberry tart by Cyril Lignac and Benoit Couvrand” and the “lemons and orange blossom tart”.

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Pear and almond cream tart “Bourdaloue tart” - Christophe Felder & Camille Lesecq.

  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Serves: Serves 8 :

Ingredients :

For the sweet pastry dough :

  • 95 g icing sugar , sifted
  • 150 g unsalted butter , softened
  • 30 g almond powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 pinch of fleur de sel
  • 250 g all purpose flour , sifted

For the almond cream :

  • 55 g unsalted butter , softened
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 55 g almond powder
  • 30 g pistachio paste
  • 1 capful kirsch, I used 1/4 tsp of orange blossom water

Glaze and decoration :

  • 2-3 Pears, Bartlett if possible (I used conference) choose a ripe pears but still firm.
  • 1 Tbsp apricot or pear jelly
  • 1 Tbsp Icing sugar
  • sliced almonds , roasted

Egg mixture for the tart :

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp double cream liquid

Syrup to poach pears in case they’re firm and not enough ripe :

  • 250 g mineral water
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder , or 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Method :

Make the dough :

  • 1)

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the sifted icing sugar, the butter, the ground almond and the vanilla. Once these ingredients combined, add the beaten egg and the pinch of salt. Then mix in the sifted flour without overworking the dough, you still have some flour not entirely combined.

    Transfer it to a clean work surface.

    Smooth out the dough by using your hand palm and sliding it in front of you. This will allow you to incorporate all the ingredients without working the gluten, and prevent the dough form shrinking during baking.

    Then lightly knead the dough into a ball, wrap loosely with a cling film and press gently to form a disc. The dough is very soft, so you need to keep it in the fridge at least 30 minutes before rolling it out to a thickness of 3mm. Line the tart pan lightly greased with the dough, prick the dough with a fork.

    Place the pastry in the fridge overnight or at least for one hour. It will help the dough to not shrink during baking time.

    Preheat the oven to 200°C, I believe it’s too much so I decided to bake at 170°C Fan.

    Line the tart case with parchment paper, covering the base and then sides. Fill with baking ceramic beans and bake for 10 minutes.

    Scoop out the ceramic beans , lift off the parchment paper and continue baking for 7 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and allow to cool for few minutes before taking off the tart circle. Brush the tart lightly with the egg mixture ( egg yolk and double cream mixed together). It will help the dough to stay crispy and not absorb any liquid from the almond cream and pears. Return the dough to the oven an bake for 5 minutes.


    Take it from the oven et leave it 15 minutes to cool before garnishing with the almond cream.

    You’ll still have some leftovers you can keep the dough in the fridge for 2-3 days or longer if you store it in the freezer.


Almond cream :

  • 1)

    In a mixing bowl, soften the butter and the sugar.

    Incorporate the egg and the pistachio paste. Then add the kirsch or the orange blossom water or keep it plain. Please dont whisk it too much so you’ll not incorporate air in your cream.

Poached pears : in case the pears are very firm and not ripe enough to use them as they are

  • 1)

    Make the syrup, put all the ingredients in a saucepan then bring to the boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the peeled and quartered pears, keeping some with their stems.

    Leave them in the syrup for around ten minutes before draining them. You can even use kitchen paper to remove any excess of syrup.

Baking time :

  • 1)

    Spread the almond cream on the previously cooked tart base, then arrange the pears (poached or not), leaving the stems of some of them visible.

    Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for approximately 15 – 19 minutes depending on your oven. Keep an eye on your oven (the cooking time and temperature are given here as an indication, each oven is different. I have a professional “UNOX” oven. I know my oven. I always lower the temperature by 10 degrees depending on the recipe). The chef gives the temperature as 200°C which in my opinion is too hot and risks to burn the tart.

Finition :

  • 1)

    Once cooked and lightly browned, remove your tart from the oven and let it cool completely before brushing the pears with jelly or glaze and decorating your tart with lightly roasted flaked almonds, sprinkling a few with icing sugar to make it look pretty.

    Enjoy !!

Tricks & Tips :

Bourdaloue tart is quite simple to make but here’s what you need to keep in mind :

* Do not knead the dough too much so as not to work the gluten, the dough will be too elastic and may shrink too much during cooking.

* Once you line the tart pan with the dough let your dough rest for at least an hour in the freezer before baking, this will allow your dough to keep its shape during cooking.

* Do not over-whip your almond cream, you risk incorporating too much air and it may inflate during cooking.

* Opt for Bartlett and comices, choose – blackberries, juicy, sweet and slightly firm.

*If your pears are sufficiently ripe you will not need to poach them. Otherwise poach them but don’t overcook them. Make the syrup, remove from the heat and put your pears in for 10 minutes. Drain them before filling your tart.


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