Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) tart.


  • For the pears

  • 3 x Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, halved and cored

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp brandy

  • For the crust

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 3 tbsp sugar

  • 2 x large egg yolks

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp fine salt

  • For the filling

  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 x large egg


  • 1.

    Bring pears, sugar, water and lemon juice up to a simmer. Cook pear just below a simmer (and place a plate or piece of parchment over surface of liquid to keep pears from floating) until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. After pears have cooled a bit, remove from liquid, sprinkle with brandy, toss and chill until ready to serve.

  • 2.

    To prepare crust, cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg yolks, adding one at a time. Sift together flour, cocoa and salt and add to butter mixture. Mix until dough just comes together. Shape in to a disc and chill until ready to roll. If preparing ahead of time, pull dough from fridge an hour before rolling.

  • 3.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just over ΒΌ-inch (.5 cm) thick. Line a 9-inch (23 cm) removable-bottom tart shell with dough, trim edges and chill for 20 minutes.

  • 4.

    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Dock pastry with a fork and bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool.

  • 5.

    Reduce oven temperature to 325 F (160 C). Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat cream with spices to just below a simmer and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then stir slowly. Stir in vanilla extract.

  • 6.

    Whisk egg in a small cup then stir into chocolate. Pour into chocolate shell and bake for 12 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, then chill for 2 hours before serving.

  • 7.

    To garnish with pears, slice, pears thinly and arrange over tart.

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