Gluten-Free Pomegranate and Poached Pear Tart

Alternative flour allows guests with dietary restrictions to enjoy this flavorful bake. Poaching the pears in a blend of spice-infused pomegranate and lemon juices enhances flavor and gives the tart its signature red color. Choose pears that are ripe but slightly firm to prevent them from turning mushy during the poaching process.

Makes 12 servings


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large vanilla bean
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 ½ cups 100% pomegranate juice
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 (3¼-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 3 firm ripe Anjou pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • Pomegranate arils, for garnish
  • Lemon zest, for garnish
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 large egg white


  1. For the custard filling, stir together milk and ¼ cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into milk mixture; add vanilla bean pod. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; remove and discard vanilla bean pod.
  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, remaining ¼ cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk half of the hot milk mixture into egg mixture. Then whisk milk-egg mixture into remaining milk mixture in saucepan.
  3. Return saucepan to heat. Cook and whisk over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil and slightly thickens. Cook and whisk for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and whisk in butter.
  4. Pour custard through a medium-mesh sieve set over a medium heatproof bowl. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  5. For the pears, in a medium saucepan, stir together pomegranate juice, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise. Add pear halves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; refrigerate pears in cooking liquid for 2 hours.
  6. For pastry, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. Using pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Using a fork, stir beaten egg into flour mixture. Sprinkle with milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with the fork until flour mixture is moistened and begins to come together. Gather dough; gently press together to form a disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 13-inch circle. Fold dough circle into fourths; transfer to a 9½-inch-round tart pan with removable bottom. Unfold and ease dough into tart pan without stretching. Trim dough to edge of tart pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pastry for 12 minutes. Slightly whisk egg white until frothy. Remove pastry from oven. Using a fork, prick bottom and side of pastry several times. Brush bottom and side of pastry with beaten egg white; discard remaining egg white. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes more or until lightly golden brown. Slightly cool in pan on a wire rack.
  9. To assemble, remove pears from cooking liquid and drain on paper towels; reserve cooking liquid. Slice pears and set aside. Spread custard filling in an even layer in pastry. Arrange pear slices in an overlapping, circular fashion on top. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  10. Meanwhile, remove and discard cinnamon stick and star anise from cooking liquid. Bring cooking liquid to a boil; reduce heat. Gently boil, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Cool syrup.
  11. To serve, remove side from tart pan. Lightly drizzle tart with syrup. Garnish with pomegranate arils and lemon zest; serve with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

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