Pear Almond Tart Recipe from the Old Country

By 6 m read
Pear Tart Dessert - Barchiglia Pear-Almond Tart (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

This pear almond tart is called Barchiglia – a chocolate-glazed almond tart with pear preserves, a traditional Easter dessert from southern Italy. Admittedly, this recipe is not my own, but rather from one of my favorite cookbooks, Southern Italian Desserts by Rosetta Costantino. It may not be my recipe, but I’m going to show you how to make it. It is a multi-step process, but I absolutely guarantee it will be well worth it. I brought this dessert to a friend’s house for dinner and everyone went absolutely “nuts” for it and they’re begging me to make it again!

 

The dough for this tart is a short-crust pastry, filled with homemade pear preserves, then filled with a almond-meringue mixture, and finally topped with chocolate ganache. Is your mouth watering yet? Let’s get started!

 

Ingredients for Pastry

  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 c cold unsalted butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
  • 1 whole egg, plus 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

 

Ingredients for Almond Filling

  • 1 c blanched almonds
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 c Marmellata di Pere

 

Ingredients for Marmellata di Pere (Pear Preserves) – (this makes enough to have leftovers)

  • 3 lbs ripe pears, peeled and cored
  • 2-3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon

 

Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 4 oz dark chocolate (60-65% cacao), coarsely chopped

 

Instructions for Pastry

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a food processor and pulse just until mixed together. Add pieces of butter and pulse again until small crumbs form. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon zest. Then, with the food processor running, slowly add the egg-zest mixture through the feed tube. Mix, then pulse until dough forms around the blades. Pinch dough between your fingers…if it sticks together easily, it’s done.

Pear Tart Dessert - Pastry Dough (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Pastry dough (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Roll dough into a ball. Press ball into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. If refrigerated for over 1 hour, let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before attempting to roll it out.

 

Instructions for Marmellata di Pere (Pear Preserves)

Cut pears into 1/2” pieces and place in a pot. Stir pears together with sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and let rest for 1 hour.  

Pear Tart Dessert - Pears mixed with sugar, lemon zest, & lemon juice (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Pears mixed with sugar, lemon zest, & lemon juice (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Once some of the pears juices have released, bring to a boil, then simmer until pears are translucent and syrup is lightly golden, about 45 minutes (215℉ on a candy thermometer).  

Pear Tart Dessert - Simmering pears (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Simmering pears (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Let cool completely. FYI, this will stay good in the fridge for up to a month!

Pear Tart Dessert - Marmellata di Pere (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Marmellata di Pere (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Instructions for Almond Filling

To blanch almonds, drop almonds into boiling water for about 20 seconds, drain, and let dry. Place dried almonds in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs.

Pear Tart Dessert - Ground Almonds (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Ground Almonds (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

In a stand mixer, whisk egg yolks and sugar at medium-high until fluffy. Gently mix in cinnamon, lemon zest, and ground almonds until mixed well (it will be very thick, like a paste!). Set aside and clean bowl and whisk for the next step.

Pear Tart Dessert - Almond Filling (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Almond Filling (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

In stand mixer, whisk together egg whites and pinch of salt until peaks are firm but not dry. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into almond mixture, then another 1/3, then final 1/3 until all egg whites and almond mixture are folded together.

Pear Tart Dessert - Finished almond filling (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Finished almond filling (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Putting The Pear Almond Tart Together

Preheat oven to 350℉. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry dough, place into tart pan, & prick bottom all over with a fork.  

 

Spread pear preserves over the bottom in an even layer. 

Pear Tart Dessert - Layer of Marmellata di Pere (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Layer of Marmellata di Pere (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Pour almond filling over top and spread evenly with a spatula. 

Pear Tart Dessert - Layer of Almond Filling (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Layer of Almond Filling (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Bake until golden and puffed, about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

Pear Tart Dessert - Tart fresh from the oven (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Tart fresh from the oven (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Chocolate Ganache

The final step is to make a chocolate ganache to spread over the top of the tart. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Let melt for a minute, then stir to combine until smooth. Let cool until it’s just slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour over center of the tart & use a spatula to gently spread it to the edges.

Let stand about 2 hours, to allow the glaze to set, and serve!

Pear Tart Dessert - Barchiglia Pear-Almond Tart (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
Barchiglia Pear-Almond Tart (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Love delicious sweet treats? Check out a few more of our recipes now:

 

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Pear Tart Dessert - Barchiglia Pear-Almond Tart (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Barchiglia - A Pear-Almond Tart Recipe from the Old Country

It’s called Barchiglia - a chocolate-glazed almond tart with pear preserves, a traditional Easter dessert from southern Italy.
Prep Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for Pastry

  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 c cold unsalted butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
  • 1 whole egg, plus 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Ingredients for Almond Filling

  • 1 c blanched almonds
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 c Marmellata di Pere

Ingredients for Marmellata di Pere (Pear Preserves) - (this makes enough to have leftovers)

  • 3 lbs ripe pears, peeled and cored
  • 2-3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 4 oz dark chocolate (60-65% cacao), coarsely chopped

Instructions
 

Instructions for Pastry

  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a food processor and pulse just until mixed together. Add pieces of butter and pulse again until small crumbs form.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon zest.
  • Then, with the food processor running, slowly add the egg-zest mixture through the feed tube. Mix, then pulse until dough forms around the blades. Pinch dough between your fingers...if it sticks together easily, it’s done.
  • Separate dough into two balls. Press each ball into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. If refrigerated for over 1 hour, let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before attempting to roll it out.

Instructions for Marmellata di Pere (Pear Preserves)

  • Cut pears into 1/2” pieces and place in a pot.
  • Stir pears together with sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and let rest for 1 hour.
  • Once some of the pears juices have released, bring to a boil, then simmer until pears are translucent and syrup is lightly golden, about 45 minutes (215℉ on a candy thermometer). Let cool completely. FYI, this will stay good in the fridge for up to a month!

Instructions for Almond Filling

  • To blanch almonds, drop almonds into boiling water for about 20 seconds, drain, and let dry. Place dried almonds in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs.
  • In a stand mixer, whisk egg yolks and sugar at medium-high until fluffy. Gently mix in cinnamon, lemon zest, and ground almonds until mixed well (it will be very thick, like a paste!). Set aside and clean bowl and whisk for the next step.
  • In stand mixer, whisk together egg whites and pinch of salt until peaks are firm but not dry. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into almond mixture, then another 1/3, then final 1/3 until all egg whites and almond mixture are folded together.

Putting the Tart Together

  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry dough and place into tart pan.
  • Spread pear preserves over the bottom in an even layer.  
  • Pour almond filling over top and spread evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake until golden and puffed, about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

Chocolate Ganache

  • The final step is to make a chocolate ganache to spread over the top of the tart.  
  • Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.
  • Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Let melt for a minute, then stir to combine until smooth.
  • Let cool until it’s just slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour over center of the tart and use a spatula to gently spread it to the edges.  
  • Let stand about 2 hours, to allow the glaze to set, and serve!

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