Friday, October 18, 2013

Recipe: Pear Pie

I grew up on a big chunk of land that happened to have something like an orchard on it.  We made so many apple pies.  My property now has several pear trees on it and I have an abundance of pears between August and October every year.  I adapted the apple pie recipe I remember as a kid into this pear pie recipe.

You start with a basic crust.  I prefer butter crusts.  You can use whatever your favorite crust is.  My recipe is 1 1/4c flour, 1 stick of butter, and 2-4 tablespoons cold water.

I can't be the only person with a dedicated pastry board right?  

Roll your crust out to slightly larger than your pie plate.

I cut off any excess bits and add them to the thin parts on the sides of the pie plate. I never can get it perfectly round.  

These photos were mostly a last minute, "Oh.  I should post this on the blog." kind of thing.  You will need ~5 pears, peeled and chunked.  Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon each flour and cornstarch (or 2 tablespoons of one.  My pears were extra juicy and I wanted the cornstarch to absorb that juice.), and a scant 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  I use scant 1/4 frequently.  It's not to sound like one of the cool kids.  I don't have a measuring spoon smaller than 1/4.  And I figure if you are only adding 1/8 of a teaspoon, you can afford to fudge the measurement a little.  I ain't trying to be a gourmet chef over here.

So mix all that stuff together and put the pears on top of your crust.  

Here's the best part!!  The crumb topping.  Get another stick of butter.

And melt it all down!  (This is totally healthy for you. . . )

Add 1/2 cup brown sugar.

And 1 cup flour.

Mix mix mix until it's thoroughly combined.

Oh.  I forgot this part.  Take another tablespoon or so of butter and chunk it up into smaller pieces.  Sprinkle those around the pears.  Squirt with some lemon juice.  You can kind of see I started here.  You will take the brown sugar crumble and sprinkle it over the top.

You will have enough to cover the entire top.

Oh yes.  It's looking good.  Toss the pie (not literally toss) into a preheated 400º oven for 10 minutes.  Then lower the temperature to 350º and allow to bake for another 30-45 minutes.  The pie is done when you stick a fork in it and it easily pierces the pears.

My crumble top is so dark because I forgot to lower the temperature after 10 minutes.  I got sucked into candy crush.  Five extra minutes at 400º is all it took to brown that top.  :(  You definitely need to cook the crust at the higher temperature first to keep the crust crusty.  Without the higher temp or prebaking, the crust will end up all gooey on the bottom.  I don't like that. Crusty crust is where it's at.  Here's a photo of the slice at room temp on a dirty plate.  That's what happens at BBQ/potlucks!

Pear Pie
1 1/4c all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2-4 tablespoons cold water

5 pears, peeled and chunked
1/2c granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Crumble topping:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1c flour
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400º
For crust:  Cut butter into flour and salt mixture until course crumbles form.  Add water a tablespoon at a time until the crust holds together.  Chill for a bit (I honestly usually skip this step, but crust fanatics will whip me with a feather if I don't tell you to chill the crust.  Whatever.  I'm lazy.)  Roll the dough until it is slightly larger than the pie plate.  Gently place the crust into the pie plate and cut off the excess from the top.  Set this aside while you get the filling together.

For pear filling:  Mix pears, sugar, cinnamon, flour, cornstarch, and salt together in a bowl until everything is thoroughly incorporated.  Dump the pears into your prepared pie plate.  Dot the pears with pieces of butter and squeeze the lemon juice over the top of the pear mixture.  

For crumble:  melt 1 stick of butter.  Mix flour and brown sugar with the butter until thoroughly combined.  Taking a handful of this mix at a time, gradually sprinkle/crumble the mix over the top of the pears until the top is covered.

Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350º and bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until a fork inserted pierces the pears with little to no resistance.

I'll work on getting a printable version of this recipe up over the next week.  I've been fairly lazy about doing that.  The only way I know how to make a printable version is by using a google site and that's just more work.  It's not really that much extra considering I can cut/paste from one location to the other, but still. 

This recipe is just like apple pie, but with pears!  People think pear pie is weird,
but try it try it, you will see!
Pear pie is tasty.  Listen to me!


  1. You are now my favorite LSG-type. Our neighbors brought over a HUGE bag of Asian pears (they call them apple pears) and I don't know what to do with them, other than just eat them...but they're huge. So, I've been looking for a pear pie recipe...and here you go, posting one...and I might have to try it :)

    1. I'm not going to discourage you from using the Asian pears in a pie, but note that they have an entirely different texture and taste than European pears. Asian pears are typically eaten firm and raw.

      Free pears are the best kind. I thank and curse my trees every fall as I'm picking up the rotten fruit off the ground. Let me know what you think about your pie! (you'll probably want to skip the flour/cornstarch because Asian pears aren't as juicy)

    2. I was thinking that, too...but we'll see what happens when I cut them up. I think it's happening today...we shall see :)

  2. My mum has a dedicated wooden crust board and rolling pin :)

    Now I want pie. Several actually!

    1. I don't technically clean my pastry board. I just scrape all the old flour off and add new flour. I don't know if that's the "right" way, but that's the way I learned.

      What other kinds of pie are you going to make? I tend towards more traditional varieties.

  3. This looks delicious! I recently made an apple pie with a crumble topping -- now I need to try pear!