Pear tart (recipe)

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This recipe is originally from The English Huswife, Gervase Markham.

A warden pie, or quince pie Take of the fairest and best wardens, and part them, and take out the hard cores on the top, and cut the sharp ends at the bottom glat; then boil them in white wine and sugar, until the syrup grow thick: then take the wardens from the syrup into a clean dish, and let them cool; then set them into the coffin, and prick cloves in the tops, with whole sticks of cinnamon, and great store of sugar, as for pippins; then cover it, and only reserve a vent hole, so set it in the oven and bake it: when it is baked, draw it forth, and take the first syrup in which the wardens were boiled, and taste it, and if it be not sweet enough, then put in more sugar and some rese-water, and boil it again a little, then pout it in at the vent hole, and shake the pie well; then take sweet butter and rose-water melted; and with it anoint the pie lid all over, and then strew upon it store of sugar, and so set it into the over again a little space, and then serve it up. And in this manner you may also bake quinces.


  • 3 lbs small pears
  • 3 cups white wine (I used chardonay, but a riesling would be good, too)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves


  1. Peel, core, and quarter pears and place in cooking pot.
  2. Mix sugar and wine, pour over pears.
  3. Cook pears in wine/sugar until mixture turns syrupy (about 30 minutes).
  4. Remove pears from liquid and cool.
  5. Heat over to 425F.
  6. Place pears in pie shell, sprinkle on cinnamon and cloves.
  7. Cover, making a hole in the middle of the cover.
  8. Back 35 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven, pour wine syrup in through the hole in the crust, shake gently to distributed syrup.
  10. Return to over for remaining 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Note that the original cooking pears would have been Black Worcester which has a very good flavour but requires approx 120 minutes cooking. Queen Elizabeth I was so fond of these that Worcester's coat of arms was changed.