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Pear Tart Recipe 1803

Pear Tart Recipe – Vintage

Posted by Warren

Makes one 9-inch pie, single crust, fruit filling

The Frugal Housewife, by Susannah Carter, 1803


A single crust pear tart with an old fashioned twist covered with a sweet glaze.

Pear Tart / Pie Recipe

The Frugal Housewife, by Susannah Carter, 1803

To make Apple Tart, or Pear Tart.

Pare them first, then cut them into quarters, and take the cores out; in the next place cut each quarter across again; throw them so prepared into a sauce-pan, with no more water in it than will just cover the fruit; let them simmer over a slow fire till they are perfectly tender. Before you set your fruit on the fire, take care to put a good large piece of lemon-peel into the water. Have the patty-pans in readiness, and strew fine sugar at the bottom; then lay in the fruit, and cover them with as much of the same sugar as you think convenient. Over each tart pour a tea-spoonful of lemon-juice, and three spoonfuls of the liquor in which they are boiled. Then lay the lid over them, and put them into a slack oven.

If the tarts be made of apricots, &c. you must neither pare them, nor cut them, nor stone them, nor use lemon-juice, which is the only material difference between these and other fruit.

Observe, with respect to preserved tarts, only lay in the preserved fruit and put a very thin crust over them, and bake them as short a time as possible.

A Cookbook with vintage pie recipes

The Frugal Housewife of 1803, offers an excellent overview of the English contributions to what has become American cooking. This cookbook contained many traditional English recipes.

The Frugal Housewife was popular on both sides of the Atlantic from its first printing in London ca 1765.

Pear Tart / Pie Recipe – Old Fashioned of 1803

Print this recipe


Pastry dough – single crust


3 pounds pears (best pears for pie)

1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

3/4 cup white sugar

some liquor

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter



1. Prepare the pastry: Roll the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate with the bottom crust. Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust. Chill the pastry.


2. Preheat the oven to 400° F.


3. Prepare the filling: Pour the fresh-squeezed lemon juice in the bottom of a large bowl. Add your lemon zest to the bowl. Peel, halve and core the pears. Be sure to remove seeds. Slice them evenly and slim into the bowl, coating them with the lemon juice as you go.


4. Boil the peeling of the pears and the cores in some water. Cook this down into a syrup. Add sugar to this.


5. Add this mixture to the pears with spice just before you want to bake the pie, mix gently. Adjust sugar to taste as needed.


6. Scrape the filling into the bottom crust, dot with butter and cover it with the second crust. Trim and crimp the crust; chill the pie for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Cut vent slits in the top crust. It is your option to sprinkle it with sugar or brush the top with egg wash.

pear apple tart for ca fair

7. Bake the pie on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 400° F or until the crust looks dry, blistered, and blonde. Turner the oven down to 375°F, and bake for at least 45 minutes more or until the crust is golden brown, and visible juices are thickened and bubble slowly through the slits in the top crust. Check if the bottom crust has darkened. If not bake a little more and cover the top crust, so it does not burn.

8. Cool the pie completely before cutting at least a few hours or warm in an hour. Store the pie uncovered in a cool place up to three days.