James Martin’s baked pear and honey tart

Layers of baked egg custard over sweet pear purée and crispy pastry: this is one dreamy tart. (A little like its creator, British dessert king James Martin).

Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


(for greasing) butter
400g sweet shortcrust pastry
8 pears
sprinkle of castor sugar
20g unsalted butter
4 medium egg yolks
1 medium whole egg
1 tbsp clear honey
600 ml double cream
whipped cream


This tart is great served whole for a dinner party. The trick is not to put too much liquid in when cooking the pears, as this will cause the tart to fall apart when portioned up.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a 24cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll out the pastry into a circle 3 mm thick and slightly wider than the tin.

Line the tin with the pastry, gently easing it down into the corners. Leave 2.5cm of pastry overhanging the edge. Chill for 10 minutes. Line your pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with dried beans, rice or flour. Put the pastry tin onto a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes.

Remove the paper with the beans and bake the pastry case for a further 5 minutes, so that the pastry no longer looks glassy. Trim off the overhanging pastry edge level with the top of the tin.

Reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees Celsius.

Peel, core and roughly slice six of the pears, place in a pan with 1 tbsp water. Cook over a medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until soft. Sweeten with sugar to taste. Drain through a sieve to remove any excess liquid, then beat to a puree.

Peel and core the remaining two pears, and cut into neat 6 mm slices. Fry gently in the unsalted butter until softened and lightly coloured. Place the pear puree in the bottom of the pastry case and overlap the pear slices on top.

In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, whole egg and honey, then whisk the double cream into the egg mix. Pour into the pastry case, over the pears, and bake for 30 minutes, until the mixture has set and is golden brown. Serve in slices with a dollop of cream.

Desserts/James Martin/Quadrille
Image © Peter Cassidy

Read our interview with James Martin.

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