If you ask me, there is nothing more comforting than a warm homemade pie that just came out of the oven. This Fresh Pear Pie is just this exactly: the perfect comforting winter dessert!
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This Fresh Pear Pie is a great dessert to make for the Holidays, to bring to a party or to simply enjoy with friends and family. The fragrant spiced pear filling surrounded by a homemade cinnamon shortcrust pastry is just heaven on a plate!
Classic Pear Pie Ingredients
There are two steps in making this Pie: first, preparing the Shortcrust Pastry (Pate Sablée) then making the Pie Filling. You can absolutely buy the pre-made pastry if you do not want to make it yourself, but I personally always prefer to make my own.
Note that this recipe is for a 9 inch / 22 cm Pie Pan.
To make the Pastry, you will need:
- Plain Flour
- Powdered Sugar
- Cinnamon Powder (optional)
- Water (if required)
To make the Pie Filling, you will need:
- some Fresh Pears
- Brown Sugar
- Cornstarch, to thicken the juices of the fruits
- Lemon Juice
- Almond Meal (optional)
- Your choice of Spice Mix
(I used Cinnamon, Ginger, Star Anise and Nutmeg)
What kind of Pears a best for pies?
Choosing the right pear to make a pie is important. You want a pear that will hold its shape while cooking but still become soft, and a variety that is sweet but still slightly crisp to not end up with an overly sweet pie. I used Green Bartletts Pears, but there are quite a few types pears that can be used to make pies:
- Green or Red Bartletts Pears
- Red or Green Anjou Pears
- Bosc Pears
- Concorde Pears
- Forelle Pears
Shortcrust Pastry for Pies
As I mentioned above, you absolutely can buy pre-made pastry if you do not want to make your own, but I prefer to make mine. Making your own pastry allows you to control the amount of sugar that goes in, which I find important for this recipe because the filling will be rather sweet.
For this recipe, I chose to make a “Pâte Sablée“, which is a type of shortcrust pastry made with Eggs. This pastry can be made the traditional way – using your hands (or with a Pastry Blender), but you can also make it in the food processor (see note 1 in the recipe card). Here are the instructions to make the pastry by hands:
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the soft butter cut into cubes. Rub the butter with the flour until you get homogenous crumbs or thick sand.
- Add the beaten Egg and work it in the pastry. Add the Water if the pastry looks dry. Once all mixed in, the pastry should be coming together easily and not be crumbling.
- Place the pastry in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour. The butter needs to be cold before rolling the dough, or the pastry will short in the oven.
How to make the Pear Pie Filling
Making the filling is probably the easiest part of this recipe. You will simply need to:
- Peal and Core the Pears, then cut them into small cubes
- Mix in the Lemon Juice, Brown Sugar, Cornstarch and Almond Meal. Toss in your choice of Spice Mix.
Does the pear pie need to be refrigerated?
Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, you may leave this pie out, tightly covered. If it is warm in our kitchen and you are not going to eat the pie straight away (or within a few hours), it is better to refrigerate it. Make sure the pie is completely cold before covering it with foil or wrap and placing it in the fridge.
It is recommended to eat the pie within 48 hours, or the pastry will start becoming soggy. When ready to eat, cover the pie with aluminium foil and re-heat in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Can you freeze the pie?
Although the pie will always taste better fresh, you can freeze it if needed. If frozen entirely, it is recommended to freeze the pie un-baked. Simply wrap the un-baked pie tightly with plastic wrap and aluminium foil and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, bake normally in the oven with an extra 10 to 15 minutes of baking time.
If freezing pie slices only, bake the pie first and leave it to cool down completely before slicing it. Wrap each slice individually with aluminium foil and leave in the freezer for up to 4 months. When ready to be eaten, thaw at room temperature or place in the oven on low temperature for about 10 minutes.
You can read more about storing and freezing pie on BettyCrocker.com
Looking for more Tarts and Pies Inspiration?
Check out these recipes:
Spiced Pears Tarte Tatin
White Peach Frangipane Tart
Chocolate Cherry Tart
Apricot Tarte Tatin
Blackberry Panna Cotta Tart with Passion Fruit
Spiced Pear Pie Recipe:
Fresh Pear Pie
Cinnamon Shortcrust Pastry (Pate Sablée)
- 1 1/3 cup (200 gr) Plain Flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp (20gr) Powdered Sugar, or icing sugar
- 1/2 teasp. Cinnamon Powder
- 1 pinch Table Salt
- 1/3 cup (3 oz or 80gr) Soft Butter
- 1 Egg
- 2 tbsp (30ml) Cold Water (if needed)
Fresh Pear Filling
- 5 Large Pears, You can also do half pears, half apples
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 teasp. Cinnamon Powder
- 1/2 teasp. Star Anise Powder
- 1/2 teasp. Ground Ginger Powder
- 1/2 teasp. Nutmeg Powder
- 1/2 Lemon, Juiced , (about 2 tbsp / 30 ml)
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tbsp Almond Meal, optional
Egg Wash (optional)
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Milk
Cinnamon Shortcrust Pastry
- Place the Plain Flour, Salt, Powdered Sugar and Cinnamon Powder in a large bowl.
- Add the cubed Soft Butter, and use your fingers to mix it in the dry ingredients. The butter should be homogenuously combined with the Flour and look like crumbs or thick sand (see note 1 about making this pastry in the food processor).You can also use a Pastry Blender to cut to butter in.
- Add the Beaten Egg and mix it in, trying not to overwork the pastry. If the pastry looks dry, add the Cold Water.
- Transfer the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and bring it in together into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and gently press on it to flatten the ball. Place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.The pastry should stick and come together quite easily at this point. If it looks still crumbly, knead in a little bit more water before transfering into the fridge.
Fresh Pear Filling
- Peal and Core the Pears, then cut them into small cubes. Place them in a large bowl.
- Add the Lemon Juice, then the Brown Sugar, Cornstarch and Almond Meal. Genty toss the pears to mix, then add the Spices (see note 2). Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula to evenly cover the fruits with all the spices. Set Aside.
Putting the Pie together
- Preheat your oven on 180'C / 350'F.
- When the Pastry is cold and hard, take it out of the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Cut it in two pieces, about 1/3 and 2/3 of the pastry.
- Start with the largest piece: using a rolling pin, roll the pastry into a large round – larger than your pie pan. Roll it as thinly as possible without breaking it, then gently place into your 9inch / 22 cm pie pan. The pastry should go over the edges of the pan for now. Set aside.
- With the smaller piece of pastry, make the "lid" of the pie. I rolled the pastry thinly then cut it into thin strips to create a lattice effect but you can make any design you want or simply cover to pie completely. Set them aside.
- Prick the pastry at the bottom of the pie pan with a fork, then pour in the Spiced Pear Filling.
- Place your pastry strips over the pie filling to make a lattice (or your choice of design). Finally, fold in the pastry that should still be going over the top of the pan to cover the edges of the lattice. Use a fork to gently press and seal the edges.
- Optional: in a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk then brush it over the pastry for a golden finish.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to cool down for 15 minutes at least before cutting.
- Serve warm on its own, or with Vanilla Ice Cream / Whipped Cream.
- To make Shortcrust Pastry in a Food Processor:
– Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of your food processor (Flour, Salt, Powdered Sugar an Cinnamon)
– Add the Cold Butter cut in small cubes and pulse to cut it in the dry ingredients.
– Add the Egg and keep pulsing until the pastry starts to come together. If still very dry, add the water and keep mixing it.
– Transfer onto a lightly floured surface and keep following the instructions above.
- You can pick your favourite spices to make this pie – the ones here are the spices I used, but you can also replace them with an All-Spice Mix or your mix of favourite spices.