Side view of White Chocolate Pear Tart on a cake plate
November 30, 2023

White Chocolate Pear Tart

November 30, 2023

White Chocolate Pear Tart

Side view of White Chocolate Pear Tart on a cake plate

A celebration-worthy dessert! Easy to prepare, this White Chocolate Pear Tart smells amazing with hints of cinnamon and cardamom. Assemble the tart in about 15 minutes, using store-bought phyllo pastry, juicy pears, crunchy pecans, and creamy white chocolate. 

Don't be intimidated by the phyllo pastry -- this recipe doesn't require any fancy folding techniques or fussy design. 

To accommodate different diets, you can make it plant-based or vegetarian. The only difference is in the type of white chocolate chips used. 

Side view of slice of White Chocolate Pear Tart

Ingredients

Photo Collage of Ingredients for White Chocolate Pear Tart

Here's what you'll need to make this tart: 

  • Pears: You can use a variety of different pears to make this. I've used anjou, bartlett, and forelle. Be sure the pears are ripe, but not soft and mushy. 
  •  Phyllo pastry, also known as filo: Phyllo pastry is a type of unleavened dough, rolled into very thin sheets. You might be familiar with it as the type of pastry used in baklava and spanakopita. I used commercial phyllo dough, which you can find in the freezer section of your grocery store. Most brands of phyllo are  'accidentally' vegan - containing just flour, water, vinegar, and a small amount of oil.  Don't confuse phyllo with puff pastry, which contains layers of butter.
  • Pecans: I used whole pecans and roughly chopped them. Pecan pieces would work as well (but when toasting them they won't need as long in the oven.) 
  • White chocolate chips: I've made this with regular white chocolate chips, which contain milk, as well as vegan/plant-based versions of white chocolate chips. 
  • Cinnamon: A touch of cinnamon adds warmth.
  • Cardamom: I used ground cardamom, which has a peppery, brown-sugar flavour. It's a warm spice that complements the cinnamon and pears.
  • Sugar: Just a small amount of sugar is used in the crumb topping. I used white sugar, but coconut sugar would work well, too. Be aware, that depending on where you live and the brand of white sugar, some kinds are considered not suitable for vegans. For more, see Sugar, sugar, honey, honey: A Guide to sweeteners for plant-based diets
  • Coconut oil: Traditionally, butter is the fat of choice for working with phyllo pastry, but coconut oil works well here. I used unrefined (also called 'virgin') coconut oil but you could use refined coconut oil if you don't want the coconut flavour. 
Decorative: Hand holding the stem of a pear

Choosing Pears

  • All varieties of pears work well
    I've made this with a variety of different pears, including green and red anjou, bartlett, and forelle.  
  • Choose slightly ripe pears
    To tell if a pear is ripe, gently press near the top of the pear. The flesh should yield slightly. If you can only find unripe (hard) pears, you can ripen them at home by placing them in a covered bowl with a banana.
  • Choose unblemished pears with a pleasant perfume 
    Small imperfections are fine, but avoid pears with a lot of blemishes that look past ripe. 


Tips: 'Accidentally' Vegan 

When people are new to plant-based eating, they're often pleasantly surprised to learn that some commercial products that they know and love are, unintentionally, free from ingredients sourced from animals. 

Phyllo dough, also known as filo, is one of these 'accidentally' vegan products. It's typically made with just a few ingredients: flour, water, vinegar, and minimal oil. 

Other 'accidental' vegan products are Oreo cookies, Fritos corn chips, and Duncan Hines fudge brownie mix.  (If your mouth just watered at 'fudge' check out our Brown Butter Chocolate Syrup recipe.)  

P.S - I'm using vegan here as a synonym for plant-based, but there are some subtle differences. For more, see What exactly is plant-based eating?

Making the Tart

Although there are a number of steps to make the tart, they are all straightforward and relatively quick. Essentially, once you have the phyllo, crumb topping, and filling ingredients all prepped it's just a matter of assembly and baking. 

Visual Overview: Making White Chocolate Pear Tart

Notes:

  • Before you start, defrost your phyllo according to the package directions. (In my experience it often takes less time than the label states.) 
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. 
  • Use a 8 1/2 inch springform pan. 

PrepaRE the Filling

Step 1: Toast and chop the pecans.

Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 8 minutes (for whole pieces).

Top-down view of pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Making Mashed Potatoes

The pecans will be lightly browned and smell nutty.

toasted pecans

When the pecans are cool, chop them roughly.

Top-down view of toasted, chopped pecans

Toasted, chopped pecans

Step 2: Melt the coconut oil.

Melt the coconut oil over low heat on your stove, or in a microwave. 

Top-down view of melted coconut oil in a small bowl, and a pastry brush

Melted coconut oil

Step 3: Combine the pecans, spices, white chocolate, and oil.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the pecans, white chocolate chips, spices, and oil. 

Top-down view of white mixing bowl with white chocolate chips, chopped pecans, cinnamon, cardamon, and coconut oil

Nut, chocolate, oil, and spice mixture

Step 4: Slice the pears.

Slice the pears into evenly thick pieces. 

Sliced pears

Making mashed potatoes, step 4.

Organize the filling ingredients so they're nearby the phyllo sheets.

Top-down view of sliced pears, melted coconut oil, and filling mixture.

Making mashed potatoes.

Prepare the Phyllo sheets

Step 1: Lay the phyllo sheets flat.

Remove the phyllo from the package and lay the sheets flat. Place the base of your springform pan in the middle of the phyllo.

Top-down view of base of springform pan placed in the middle of phyllo sheets.

Making Shepherd's Pie

Step 2: Cut the phyllo into a rough circle.

Using sharp scissors, cut the phyllo into a rough circle that's about 2 inches biggher than the springform pan (enough to reach up and slightly over the sides of the pan, when it's attached). Don't worry if the circle is rough. Later when assembling, you can fold the longer pieces over, if needed. 

Top-down view of circle of phyllo pastry

Making Beyond Beef Shepherd's Pie.

Prepare phyllo crumb topping

Step 1: Combine sugar, spices, and oil.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, spices, and oil.

Phyllo crumb topping ingredients in a mixing bowl

Making Beyond Beef Shepherd's Pie.

Step 2: Rip up the phyllo scraps.

Rip up about half of the phyllo scraps and add them to  the sugar/spice/oil mixture. Use your hands to blend everything together, while shredding the phyllo into crumbs. 

(Set aside the remaining phyllo for another recipe.) 

Top-down view of bowl with phyllo crumb topping

Phyllo crumb topping

AssemblE and BakE

Step 1: Place first layer of phyllo in pan.

Put the ring around the springform pan and clip it into place. Put 2-3 sheets of phyllo in the pan (sometimes it's hard to separate the layers, so do whatever is easiest).

Phyllo pastry on top of springform pan

Making White Chocolate Pear Tart

Press the phyllo into the pan, pushing it up against the sides. Brush with coconut oil, including the sides. Don't worry if the sides look messy and uneven. 

Brushing coconut oil over the first layer of phyllo

Step 2: Add a layer of pears. 

Arrange a single layer of pears.

A layer of pears on the phyllo dough

Making Beyond Beef Shepherd's Pie.

Step 3: Add a layer of white chocolate/nuts/spice

Put about 1/3rd of the white chocolate/nuts/spice mixture on top of the pears. 

Layer of white chocolate, nuts, and spices

Beyond Beef Shepherd's Pie

Step 4: Repeat Steps 1-3, two more times.

Add a layer of 2-3 sheets of phyllo and brush with the coconut oil. Add a single layer of pears, followed by another third of the nut/chocolate/spice mix. 

Repeat.

Step 5: Top with phyllo crumb topping.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the tart. 

Phyllo crumb topping

Beyond Beef Shepherd's Pie

Step 6: Clean up the phyllo edges.

Clean up the phyllo edges. If you have a lot overhanging, you can trim with sharp scissors. Turn any extra in toward the pan. Brush any exposed areas of the phyllo with coconut oil. 

Cleaned up edges of the phyllo pastry

Beyond Beef Shepherd's Pie

Step 7: Bake

Bake on the middle rack until a fork goes easily through the tart, about 45 minutes. Check at about 30 minutes and if the phyllo is starting to get too brown, place foil lightly over the tart. 

Cleaned up edges of the phyllo pastry

Beyond Beef Shepherd's Pie

Let it cool in the pan before removing it. s. 

Topdown view of Baked White Chocolate Pear Tart

Optionally, drizzle with melted white chocolate chips. 

Top-down view of White Chocolate Pear Tart

White Chocolate Pear Tart

Close up of White Chocolate Pear Tart
Pin for White Chocolate Pear Tart

Recipe Card

White Chocolate Pear Tart

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
A celebration-worthy dessert! Easy to prepare, this White Chocolate Pear Tart smells amazing with hints of cinnamon and cardamom. Assemble the tart in about 15 minutes, using store-bought phyllo pastry thats layered with juicy pears, crunchy pecans, and creamy white chocolate. 
Servings 8 slices
Calories 376 kcal
Author Sylvia

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (Use plant-based white chocolate if desired)
  • 10 sheets phyllo
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (approximately)
  • 3-4 pears
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom

Phyllo Topping

  • scraps from phyllo
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar Or replace with coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Optional Drizzle

  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips, melted (Use plant-based white chocolate if desired)

Instructions

  • Before you start, defrost your phyllo according to package directions.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare the filling ingredients

  • Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 8 minutes (for whole pieces).
  • When pecans are cool enough, chop them roughly.
  • Melt the coconut oil.
  • In small mixing bowl, combine cinnamon, cardamom, pecans, white chocolate chips, and 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Slice 3-4 pears into evenly thick pieces.

Prepare the phyllo sheets

  • Remove phyllo from package and lay the sheets flat. Place your springform pan on the phyllo.
  • Using sharp scissors, cut the phyllo in a rough circle that's about 1-2 inches bigger than the springform pan (enough to reach up the sides). Don't worry if it's not perfect. Later when assembling the tart, you can fold longer pieces over shorter pieces if needed.

Prepare phyllo crumb topping

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, spices, coconut oil and phyllo scraps, until they are well coated.
  • Rip up about half of the phyllo scraps and add them to  the sugar/spice/oil mixture. Use your hands to blend everything together, while shredding the phyllo into crumbs. 

Assemble and Bake

  • Place 2-3 sheets of phyllo in the springform pan (sometimes it's hard to separate the layers, so do whatever is easiest).
  • Brush with coconut oil, including the sides.
  • Place a layer of pears, then about 1/3rd of the nut/spice/white chocolate mixture.
  • Place 2-3 more sheets on top and repeat for a total of 3 layers.
  • Top the tart with the phyllo crumb topping.
  • Clean up the edges of the phyllo, trimming as needed, and folding over any extra in toward the pan. Brush any exposed areas of phyllo with the coconut oil.
  • Put tart in oven and bake for about 45 minutes until the pears are soft (use a fork to test) and topping is browned. Check at about 30 minutes and if the phyllo is getting too brown, place foil lightly over the tart.
  • Let cool before removing from springform pain
  • Optionally, drizzle with melted white chocolate chips.

Notes

Ingredient Notes

Phyllo pastry is also known as filo. It's a type of unleavened dough that's rolled into very thin sheets. I used store-bought phyllo for this recipe. You can find it in the freezer section of the grocery store. Phyllo is generally suitable for a plant-based diet, but always read the ingredients. Don't confuse phyllo with puff pastry, which contains butter. 
Regular white chocolate chips contain dairy. If you want this to be plant-based, be sure to buy vegan white chocolate chips. 
This recipe contains 1 tablespoon of white sugar. Depending on where you live and what brand of sugar you're using, it may have been processed with animal parts. For more information, see: Sugar, sugar, honey, honey: A Guide to sweeteners for plant-based diets

Storage

This tart is best served fresh, but can be kept on the counter for 2-3 days. The phyllo will lose some of its crunch over time. I have not tried freezing it and don't recommend it. 

Nutritional Information

Information is based on dairy-based white chocolate chips. Nutritional information is an estimate only.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg

Courses, Cuisines, and Keywords

Course
Dessert
Cuisine
American
Keywords
easy pear tart
|
Filo Pear Tart
|
Phyllo Pear Tart

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Hello!


We're creating a course: Baby Steps to Plant-Based Eating

Yes, seriously. Trying a plant-based diet can be overwhelming and we'd like to help. 

This course is for you if: 

  • you're curious about plant-based eating, but don't know where to start 
  • you have family or friends who eat plant-based and you'd like to be able to cook for them
  • you've dabbled with plant-based cooking, but would like to expand your repertoire 

Baby Steps to Plant-Based Eating will: 

  • answer your pressing questions
  • cultivate your confidence 
  • arm you with recipes

Want to learn more?  

Join our email list for updates about the course launch. You'll also get priority access to new recipes, and other subscriber privileges.