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Pear pie? Anyone?

Does anyone make a super-wonderful pear pie they'd care to share? I was going to make an apple pie tomorrow but I do have a ton of rapidly-deteriorating bartletts (I just typed batlets - hahaha) in the fridge that I'd love to use. I want a regular pie (I'll do a crumble topping, at the very most, or leave it naked on top) in regular pastry. I mean, I can just wing it, but if there are some lovely ideas - I'd love to hear them.

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  1. I posted a pear mincemeat recipe, I believe, early in the week. It would use up your pears but it needs to sit for at least a week and cure before using.

    1. I have a recipe for a pear tart that has a cream cheese base over the tart shell, layered pears over it that I like, pretty presentation. If you're interested, I can look for it and post it. It's not a pie, though.

      1. I make a pear pie that is pretty good--just use a recipe for apple pie but sub pears--you can even sub canned pears (which tend to be pretty firm) if no fresh ones are available, but these days, they usually are.

        It is wonderful; a two-crust pie with the standard spices, lemon juice and sugar . IIR, I cut down on the sugar by 1/3, and continue with the recipe.

        This yields a pie with the familiar aroma, but the flavor is subtly different. more floral. And the texture is more delicate. Sometimes I serve it to guests who know something is different with the "apple pie" but can't make it out. It's always fun to tell them it's made with pears, not apples.

        1. Thanks for those suggestions - with all due respect Candy, I'm not a mincemeat person so that one's out of the running. And I was thinking baked pie rather than fresh fruit tart so, chowser's disqualified too. I think I'll do something more like toodie jane suggested. I found a recipe where you combine the sliced pears with the sugar, let it sit until the juice collects, then cook down the juice to a syrup and mix it back into the pears before baking with a bit of additional corn starch and flavourings. That one sounds intriguing and would take care of the excess liquid I envision.

          Another recipe I found was a sour cream custard one which also sounded good...gah I can't decide.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nyleve

            My son made a really great Linzer Torte with fresh pears and lingonberries(? - I think he used jam). It was sensational.

          2. That is okay, but this is not a real trad mincemeat. It is very citrusy and bright.

            1. How about pearsauce, like in applesauce. Ripe pears are ideal. Peel and seed, place thick chucks in a small amount of water and heat til warm. Pour entire pot into a glass blender (or cool on counter a bit if you have a plastic container). Pulse til your satisfied with the thickness and you're good to go! Once pureed, I usually add a dash of vanilla extract and a ground cinnamon. Your choice : P

              1. I've made this pear & blueberry streusel pie (with frozen blueberries) a few times. It's a great one. I generally like to use somewhat firm pears.

                1 Reply
                1. Unless your pears are very flavorful, I don't think pears make a very good pie...sort of bland. I would use a good apple pie recipe and substitute pears and add either dried cranberries or cherries, also up the lemon juice.
                  I agree with a previous post that ripe pears might make a better "pearsauce" than a pie. Firmer pears are better for baking.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: PBSF

                    I agree, pears don't make great pie.

                    If I had too many dead-ripe pears I'd make sorbet or compote.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Pears make fantastic tart tatin, I prefer it to apples, and I like pastry brisee, not puff pastry. If you are going to have an open faced pie, this is much nicer than a pie with a crumb topping (might as well make cobbler.) But deteriorating bartletts will not work very well, I suspect. I've not tried them, I usually use the firmer bosc pears. I've made the one from the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook for years. Now I've got a craving.

                      The soft bartletts may only be good for pear butter.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        I have to agree as well. I just don't think baked pears are great in pies-- so many better options. For instance, the pie and pastry bible has a lovely tart with a pear mousse under fresh, uncooked pears. Very nice.

                      2. re: PBSF

                        At the recent Chowhound picnic, there was a fabulous pear and fig streudl (sp) - the recipe is, I think, posted in the giant message about the picnic here on the home cooking board.

                      3. Very rich and very good. Perhaps the pears should not be overly ripe. I have a pear tree and usually just miss picking my pears before they are too ripe; originally I used this recipe to use up the pears, but it is worth buying them at the market.

                        Pear or Apple Pie

                        Crumb crust:

                        1 1⁄2 C gingersnap crumbs
                        1⁄4 confectioner's sugar (if filling is very rich, skip this)
                        6 T melted butter

                        Mix well and put in a pie pan. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or chill for an hour before filling.


                        Sliced pears or apples (6 or so, depending on size)

                        Mix fruit with

                        1⁄2 C sugar
                        1 t. lemon rind
                        3 T lemon juice

                        Put fruit in crust.

                        Sprinkle slices with mixture (I tend to sort of pat it over the top to cover all the fruit):

                        1⁄2 C flour
                        1⁄2 C sugar
                        1⁄2 t. ginger
                        1⁄2 t. cinnamon
                        1⁄4 t. mace
                        1/3 C. butter

                        Bake at 400 for 45 minutes

                        1. Not a pie but pear clafouti can be wonderful...lots of recipes for this on the web....

                          1. Pears baked in red wine are delicious in the Fall.

                            Usually on the dessert chariot of every small restaurant in Italy .

                            I usually bake them whole, at 350 bathed in a red wine sugar syrup with cinnamon, clove, and cardomom. Nice served by themselves, with creme fraiche, fresh whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Fleur


                              How long do you bake them?

                            2. So - I should report. I ended up making a streusel-topped sour cream pear pie. It was incredibly delicious - flavoured with quite a bit of ginger (I used ground ginger, but if I'd had some crystallized ginger, it would have been great). The pears blended beautifully with the sour cream custard and although the flavour was delicate, the pears definitely came through loud and clear. I would make it again in a nanosecond.

                              My other favourite pear recipe is, of course, the famous Galleygirl's Pear Tart which I have to stop myself from making too often so I don't get tired of it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Nyleve

                                Can you post the ever-so-tasty pear-custard-pie recipe you found? I've got some pears that are fading fast!

                              2. I'm looking for a pear pie recipe that called for poaching the pears in strawberry nectar before preparing them for the pie. The peeled pears turned a lovely pink and they were so flavorful in the pie. Not the slap in your face flavor, delicate, sweet and very different from normal pie choices. If anyone can recall that recipe I would appreciate it. I want to say that I originally found it in a ladies magazine, but I've looked and its gone. Thanks

                                1. this suggestion is for future owners of failing pears: make pear cobbler! http://www.chow.com/recipes/13522

                                  1. This one was surprisingly good and completely addictive with vanilla ice cream.
                                    Pear and Fig Pie with Hazelnut Crust
                                    I've done is with a regular crust as well as with a crumble topping.
                                    Using good quality (soft) dried figs makes a difference too.