Vincent van Gogh | Quince, Pear and Almond Tart

Vincent van Gogh | Quinces, Lemons, Pears and Grapes, 1887 | Van Gogh Museum

In these dark, cold days we all can use a little colour and warm flavours. Vincent van Gogh’s painting of Quinces, Lemons, Pears and Grapes gives us just that. He also had an appetite for different colours when he came to Paris and saw the works of his French colleagues. He became a true colourist leaving the dark Dutch colours behind.

This beautifull, almost completely yellow painting has all the right seaonal ingredients for a nice tart  perfect for a cold winter day and because Vincent was in Paris during the time he painted this, there is a little bit of a French twist to it.

Quince, Pear and Almond Tart


yields 8-10 slices

Tart dough
1 egg
50 g caster sugar
100 g cold butter
200 g flour
a pinch of salt

100 g finely ground almonds or almond meal
1 egg, beaten
100 g powdered sugar
100 g butter at roomtemperature
zest of half a lemon

Poached quinces
1 or 2 quinces
100 g sugar
75 g honey
1 l water
optional:1/2 lemon, halved vanilla bean or cardamom pods

Other ingrediënts
1 or 2 pears
handfull of raisins (soaked)

You will need a 24cm tart tin


Start by poaching the quinces, A quince is a very hard fruit and you can’t eat them raw. 2 quinces are probably more than you need, but you can keep them in the fridge in the cooking liquid for quite some time and eat them with a bit of greek yoghurt or some cheese.

Mix the water, sugar and honey in a pan and add the optional spices or the lemon if you wish. Put the pan on a medium to high heat. Bring to a simmer. Quarter and peel the quinces, remove the cores. They are very tough. make sure to remove all the tough bits with a small and sharp knife.Put the quarters in the simmering water and cover the pan half with the lid. Simmer the quinces for an hour or till they are done. (check by piercing them with a sharp knife)

While the quinces are poaching you can make the dough. Put the flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a stand mixer or mix it by hand. Add the butter and mix it until it forms crumbs. Add the egg and let it mix untill the dough just comes together. Don’t let the mixer turn too long.

put a little flour on your kitchen counter and roll out the dough. Line the tin with the dough and press it gently in the side of the tart tin. Prick the bottom with a fork, cover the tart tin with plastic foil and let it chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 190C. Now you can make the frangipane. Cream the butter and sugar together in a food processor. Add the beaten egg. Add the ground almonds and the lemon zest and let it process untill you have a nice creamy mixture.

Wash the pears (no need to peal), quarter and core them. Slice the quartered pear and the quince. Take the tart tin out of the fridge. Fill the base with the frangipane. Spread some raisins over the frangipane. Place the slices of pear and quince in a circle, overlapping each other untill the whole base is covered. Bake the tart for about 45–50 minutes until the almond filling and pastry are golden brown.

Cool slightly, you can brush it with some melted apricot jam and sprinkle some toasted flaked almonds on top. Serve with al little unsweetened cream or crème fraîche.



Birgitta van Langeveld is the creative director of Spoon of Art. She is a gifted conceptual thinker and has a keen eye for the art of the preparation and presentation of food.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *