Countdown to Christmas: Dessert – Ginger Pear Tarts

Here it is, the big day. I hope you have all that shopping done.
You’ve planned for the appetizers, the sides and the main attraction…
I hope you’ve saved room for dessert.

I couldn’t resist something spiced and a little lighter than a cake or that never ending tray of sweet offerings that nibble me into a coma. The gingerbread was such a hit, I decided to use it as the base of the tart. It holds up pretty well as a crust and with a light cream there’s plenty of room for spicy, soaked pears.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope you enjoy the Holidays, the food and your families!


2 pears, peeled halved and cored; I used Abate Fetel
1 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 Vanilla Pod, split
1 Cinnamon Stick, 2″ in length
Zest Strips of 1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons Brandy

Combine the sugar and the water in a large saucepan over a medium high heat.
Add the vanilla pod, cinnamon and lemon strips.
Once the sugar has dissolved add the brandy and the pear halves.
If the pears are not submerged, just cook until softened then turn them over, occasionally basting, if necessary.
Remove when softened, about 20 minutes. Cool and store in the liquid until ready to use.
May be made two days in advance.


300g Soft Silken Tofu
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 Tablespoons Confectioners Sugar
1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Powder
1  (2-inch) Fresh Ginger, peeled
1/4  teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Pastry Flour

Grate the ginger and squeeze to remove the juice, should equal one tablespoon.
In a food processor, blend the tofu, ginger and lemon juice along with the vanilla, sugar, salt, flour and arrowroot powder.
Serve cold or baked.


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Roll out the chilled cookie dough. Cut into rounds to fit your tart shells.
Dock with a fork to prevent excessive air bubbles and bake for 10 minutes..
While the tart shells cool, prepare the tofu cream and thinly slice the poached pears.
Dollop the cream and top with the sliced pears.
Return to the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the tofu cream is set and firm.
Makes 6 four inch tarts.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

10 thoughts on “Countdown to Christmas: Dessert – Ginger Pear Tarts”

  1. Mmm! The light tofu cream sounds perfect after a big holiday meal. And it seems like it would be absolutely comforting and appropriate for the cold weather if served lukewarm :)

  2. Eep, I’m making this RIGHT NOW and will just have to wing it I guess? Directions for the tofu cream do not mention the vanilla or the pastry flour. I’m assuming they should just be added in with everything else. I hope I’m assuming correctly.
    Eepx2. Thanks for letting me know. Thankfully you know your way around a kitchen! You assumed correctly, now I have corrected the recipe. thanks again. I hope you enjoyed it!

  3. Wow! You are now officially a go-to website of mine for recipes. I had already made your clafoutis recipe three times (adding different fruits each time) so I had an idea that your creative instincts aligned with my tastebuds (use of fruit, tofu, not too much sugar, etc). Today I was looking for something to do with the many pears I bought from the market yesterday. This tart recipe is just what I need. Thanks!
    I’m so happy to hear it! I’m really glad you’ve been enjoying the site. Thanks for taking the time to let me know!

  4. I made these ginger pear tarts for New Years Day dessert and they were one of the best desserts we’ve ever had. The taste of ginger cookie, tofu ginger cream, and the especially delicious spiced pears went together so well. Each bite was a special taste sensation. Thanks for the recipes and inspirational site. Your photographs and recipes are very appealingly put together and I check your site regularly for ideas and inspiration.
    I’m so glad you enjoyed them! All the best in 2010!)

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