This is actually one of my recipes from the early days of my dinner party hosting. Since I starting this blog I find myself remembering and cooking not only Mum’s old recipes but my own as well. I served this a couple of weekends ago at lunch for a group of friends. It originally came from the Anne Marshall New Idea Cookbook published in 1976. It’s great warm or cold.French Pear Tart


185g Rich Short Crust Pastry (see below)

  • Filling:
  • 3 ripe dessert pears
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons castor sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 250ml (1 cup) sour cream
  • Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 60g (2 tablespoons) butter

Make pastry and chill according to directions. Roll pastry out and line a 20-23 cm (8-9 inch) flan tin or glazed ovenproof flan dish. Trim and decorate edge and prick base. Chill while preparing filling.

Filling: Peel pears, cut in half lengthways and remove core. Place pears neatly in pastry tart shell, narrow tops towards centre. Beat egg, stir in sugar, salt, spices, lemon rind and sour cream. Pour neatly over pears.

Topping: Mix flour with brown sugar and nutmeg and rub in the butter to make coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over top of tart.

Bake in centre of a hot oven at 200ºC (400ºF) for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool on a wire cooling tray. Serve French Pear Tart cold or warm as a dessert or with coffee. It’s delicious. Serves 6.


  • 185g (1½ cups) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125 (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) castor sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water

Sift flour and salt into a cold mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour with a round bladed knife, then mix in with cool fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in castor sugar with knife.

Mix egg yolk with cold water and mix into flour gradually with a round bladed knife until mixture forms a dough which leaves sides of bowl cleanly. Knead very gently until smooth. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for at least 30 minutes before use. Roll out and use according to particular recipe.

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