Luscious Pear-Maple Syrup Pie

Luscious Pear-Maple Syrup Pie
Pears are less acidic, milder in flavor and more tender in texture than apples. But that gently sweet flavor has earned the pear its place in the pie pantheon. The pear is a companionable fruit, getting along well with other assertive flavors such as pepper, ginger, lemon and – wait for it – maple syrup. When choosing a pear for baking, select a pear variety that is sweet, firm and crisp and non-gritty in texture, like Bosc, Forelle, Seckel or Comice.
Ingredients:

9 small pears (Forelle or Seckel), or 6 medium pears (Bosc, Anjou, Comice), peeled, halved, and cored
Pastry crust for a 2-crust pie, recipe follows
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (we used Meyer lemon juice)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 large egg mixed with 2 tsp water

Directions:

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

 

Cut the pears crosswise into good-sized slices. Not too small – about 1/4 – 1/2 inch-thick will do nicely. Roll out half of the pastry large enough to fit a 9 to 10-inch pie plate with an inch or so of pastry hanging over the edge. Carefully line the pie plate with the rolled out pastry.

 

Pile about one third of the pear slices into the pastry-lined pie plate (no special arrangement required!), and sprinkle with one third of the flour. Repeat twice more with the remaining pears and flour. Stir the lemon juice and maple syrup together in a small bowl, then pour the mixture over the pears.

 

Note: We used a premium barrel-aged Michigan maple syrup in this recipe and, yes, you CAN taste the difference.  First, it’s made with real Michigan maple syrup, some of the finest in the world.  Second, it’s aged in bourbon barrels where it picks up subtle notes of vanilla, oak and, of course, bourbon.  We probably wouldn’t use this top-notch maple syrup in an apple pie, where its complexity might be overpowered, but when paired with the milder flavor of pears (pun intended), every nuance of flavor shines through.  It’s not essential that you use a specific brand of barrel-aged maple syrup, but it’s worth trying if you can get your hands on a bottle.  Whatever you do use, make sure it’s a good quality, genuine maple syrup – none of that artificially flavored stuff!

 

Roll out the other half of the pastry for the top crust. Brush the edges of the bottom pastry with some of the beaten egg mixture. Lay the top crust over the heaped pears, pressing it onto the egg-washed edges. Fold the edges of the bottom crust up and over the top edge, and crimp closed using your fingers or the tines of a fork. Brush the top crust all over with egg mixture. Cut or prick eight or more vent holes through the top crust with the point of a sharp knife.

 

Place the pie on a baking sheet and slide it onto a rack in the bottom third of the pre-heated oven. Bake until the crust is golden and lightly browned, about 55 minutes. If the crust begins to browns too quickly, lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over it.

 

Remove pie from oven, take off the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack. Allow the pie to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

 

Pastry for a 9″ – 10″ 2-crust pie:

 

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

1/3 – 1/2 cup ice water

 

Place flour and salt in a food processor, and process briefly just to mix them together.

 

Add the butter and using short pulses, process until mixture ranges in size from peas to coarse oatmeal.

 

Slowly pour in the water, using short pulses to incorporate it into the flour. The mixture should be moist enough to hold together, but don’t process it to the point of forming a ball. The dough should still look crumbly, but it should adhere when you press it between your fingers.

 

Transfer the pastry to a large piece of waxed paper. Divide it in half and press each half out to form a flat round about 5 inches across. Wrap each tightly in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

 

 



Earthy Delights

2871 Jolly Road

Okemos MI 48864

tel 855.328.8732

fax 517.253.7366

info@earthy.com

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