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A favourite dessert recipe from Australian Delicious magazine is the Spanish Pear Tart with Pedro Ximenez Syrup, from the June 2010 issue. I tell you, this is the yummiest dessert in the world and it’s even better if your husband will make it for you, like mine did!

It is a bit fiddly and requires some planning as you need to leave the pears to soak up the flavours overnight, but it is well worth the wait! It has a gorgeous Marscapone filling and crumbly almond pastry, juicy pears and then it is topped with a simply lovely syrup. Paul decided to make one larger tart instead of the individual little ones, because we didn’t have six cute little loose-bottomed tart pans.

Spanish Pear Tart with Pedro Ximenez Syrup

Spanish Pear Tart with Pedro Ximenez Syrup


    Pedro Ximinez Pears
  • 6 small pears (such as corella)
  • 1 lemon
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Pedro Ximinez sherry (a sweet Spanish sherry)
  • Pastry
  • 1 1/3 cups (200 g) plain flour
  • 100 g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) almond meal
  • 1 tsp ground aniseed *optional
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250 g) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup (70 g) thick Greek-style
  • melted chocolate, to drizzle *optional


  1. Peel, halve and core pears, leaving stems intact. Pare 2 strips of rind from lemon and set aside, then halve lemon and rub over the pears to keep them from browning. Place sugar, rind, cinnamon, vanilla pod and seeds in a pan with 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) water. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add sherry and pears, then cover surface closely with baking paper cut to size. Increase heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes (depending on ripeness of pears) until pears are tender. Chill pears in the liquid overnight.
  2. The next day, place flour, butter, almond meal, aniseed and 2 tbs icing sugar in a food processor with 1/2 tsp salt. Process until mixtures resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg and vanilla and process until it comes together in a smooth ball. Wrap pastry in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Grease six 10cm loose-bottomed tart pans. Divide dough into 6 pieces, roll out to 3mm thick, then line the pans with dough. Chill for a further 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 C. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice, then blind-bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights (or rice) and cook for a further 3 - 5 minutes until pastry is crisp and golden. Allow to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, remove pears from syrup and transfer syrup to a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer over medium-low heat for 15 - 20 minutes until thick and syrupy. Cool. Slice each pear lengthways almost to the top, leaving the stem-end intact.
  6. Combine mascarpone, yoghurt and remaining 1/3 cup (50 g) icing sugar, then spread into tart cases. Place 2 pear halves on top, fanning out slices, then brush with the reduced syrup just before serving. (Brush? We poured it on!)
  7. If desired, drizzle plates with chocolate.


All measurements are Australian standard.


Bonus: A delicious. Year is a great blog where each month, Katren makes at least one recipe from her collection of Delicious back issues.

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Jen Leheny

Hello! I'm the owner, blogger, designer, photographer, maker at Red Instead in Canberra, Australia. I also have a photo portfolio at Jen Leheny Photography and there's some work info at I like to design and make things in my spare time, which I sell at the Red Instead Shop and at Trove Canberra. And in my other spare time, I rollerskate!