Gluten-Free Pear Custard Tart
With a chocolate almond crust, vanilla creme fraiche custard, and mulled wine poached pears, this gluten-free pear custard tart makes a showstopping holiday dessert.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 9 -inch tart, 8-10 servings
- 1 ⁄2 cup (80 g) Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour or sweet white rice flour
- 1 ⁄2 cup (55 g) Bi-Rite blanched sliced almonds or almond flour
- 1 ⁄2 cup (45 g) cocoa powder (preferably dutch-process)
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) tapioca flour
- 1 ⁄4 cup (50 g) organic granulated cane sugar
- 1 ⁄4 plus 1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 tablespoons (70 g) cold, unsalted butter, diced into 1⁄2” cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cooking spray or extra butter, for the pan
- 1/4 cup (50 g) organic granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (30 g) Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour or sweet white rice flour
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- ¼ cup (60 ml) crème fraiche
- Poached pears, from above
- 1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar, for sprinkling
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream or a mix of cream and crème fraiche, for serving (optional)
Make the crust:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the almonds, GF all-purpose flour or sweet rice flour, and cocoa powder with the tapioca starch, sugar and salt. Process until the almonds are finely ground. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and drizzle with the vanilla extract. Process until the dough starts to clump together.
Dump about half of the crumbs into a lightly sprayed or buttered 9-inch loose-bottom tart pan and press the dough evenly into the sides of the pan. Add the remaining crumbs and press them into the bottom, keeping the edges square. (It usually takes me about 10 minutes to make it look pretty.) Freeze until firm, 15–30 minutes, or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until slightly puffed and firm to the touch, 20-25 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and, while it’s still hot, press the sides and bottom firmly with the back of a spoon; this will help it hold together when cool. Keep warm.
Make the filling:
In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in the egg, then the cream and crème fraiche until smooth. Pour the custard into the bottom of the baked tart shell. Gently fan the sliced pears out over the top of the custard. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon sugar over the pears.
Bake the tart until the custard is puffed and set, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until warm. Release the sides of the pan and let the tart cool completely. Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature, or chill. Serve the tart drizzled with the reduced poaching liquid.