Cranberry Pear Tart With Gingerbread Crust

"This tart is work. But sometimes you need to work a little harder to reap in the benefits - and you'll love this recipe. Fortunately, most of the work can be done way ahead of time. Drop-dead-gorgeous. Drop-dead-delicious. Also, that 'something special' you're looking for for your next Thanksgiving/Holiday meal."
photo by Glimmer photo by Glimmer
photo by Glimmer
photo by Glimmer photo by Glimmer
photo by Sarah_Star photo by Sarah_Star
photo by TMandi photo by TMandi
Ready In:




  • Make pear mixture: In a saucepan, combine cranberry juice, sugar, cinnamon stick and lemon juice.
  • Bring to boil and add pears.
  • Heat until it just comes to simmer and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, or until the pears are just tender.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cranberries and let mixture cool.
  • Chill, covered, for at least 8 hours.
  • (may be made 2 days in advance) Crust: Blend together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt.
  • Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • In a small bowl, stir together egg yolk and the molasses.
  • Add to flour mixture and mix until combined well but still crumbly.
  • Turn out onto 10 inch tart pan with removable rim and press onto bottom and up sides of pan.
  • Chill crust for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Prick crust all over with fork, line with foil, fill with pie weights or dry beans, and bake in lower third of oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove foil and pie weights and bake crust a further 10 minutes.
  • Let cool.
  • Transfer poached pears and half the cranberries with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, discard cinnamon, and reserve syrup with remaining cranberries.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, sour cream, milk, vanilla, zest and a pinch of salt.
  • Stir in the drained cranberries.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Spoon half of custard into the crust.
  • Slice 4 of the pear halves crosswise on the diagonal, arrange decoratively over the custard alternately with the unsliced pear halves, and spoon remaining custard around pears.
  • Bake tart in middle of oven for 50-55 minutes or until custard is just set.
  • Remove rim of pan and let cool.
  • (may be made up to 8 hours in advance, cooled completely and chilled) Boil reserved syrup until reduced to 1 cup and is jelly-like in consistency and transfer cranberries with slotted spoon to a plate to cool.
  • Brush pears with some of cranberry glaze and arrange cranberries around edge of tart.
  • Serve warm or chilled.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Terrific recipe! I made this for my "son-in-law" for his birthday. His request was for a fruit tart and after an extensive search I chose this recipe because it seemed so different. It does take time (more than stated but I tend to work slowly) and is quite a few steps but the recipe is written well and is easy to follow. The only problem I had was for some reason the custard leaked out of the tart pan through the ring...I've never used it before so maybe it's faulty somehow. All it really meant was the pears showed more and I was fine with that. A couple of hints about the pears...make sure you plan ahead of time and your pears are definitely ripe, it makes all the difference in flavor. You also want to be careful what kind of pear you choose because the sizes differ so much. The only ripe ones I could find were smaller so it did change the look but not the taste. So everyone loved this (especially the crust) and I will definitely make it again when I am looking for an elegant dessert that tastes wonderful. Thanks!
  2. Thanks so much for posting this, Evelyn! I found the recipe about 10 years ago in a magazine and had since lost it. I've made it 3 times to rave reviews. I do recommend greasing your pan, as did another reviewer. This tart is a bit of work, but for a special holiday dinner, totally worth it!
  3. Guests can't help but be impressed with the presentation. The extra effort definitely pays off. And it tastes good!
  4. My goodness!!! The work is well worth the rewards and compliments. Everyone loved it. My dad had 2 pieces! And he said it was like "one of those fancy desserts you get in a fancy restaurant" and the best thing I have ever made. So I will make again!
  5. This was not only absolutely gorgeous but delicious, too! I made it for Thanksgiving and everyone was so impressed. If you want to get a rep for being an amazing baker, try this recipe! As soon as I get my pictures back I'll post one, as this tart is so pretty. The only thing i had a problem with was that i should have greased my tart pan, as much of the delicious crust was glued to it. Also, i could only find a 9.5" pyrex pie dish, and it worked fine. Anyway i think my family is going to make me make another for Christmas. Those glazed cranberries that you decorate the tart with at the end are the perfect touch!


<style>body { background: url(""); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
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