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La Belle Cuisine
Island Chunky Pear Pie
Classic Home Desserts: A Treasury of
Heirloom and Contemporary Recipes
by Richard Sax, introduction by Dorie Greenspan
November 2010, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
© 1994 Richard Sax, Chapters Publishing Ltd.
is apple pie everywhere and pear pie virtually unknown? In Tudor and
Stuart times, English pies were made with pears and quinces nearly as
as with apples.
Baking with pears can be a little trickier than with apples; juicy
varieties like Bartlett or Comice can release so much liquid that you need
to adjust the amounts
of other ingredients. Bosc pears, which are drier,
can usually be substituted for apples without problems. Anjou pears are
This pie is so chunky with nuts and raisins that it’s almost like a
fresh fruit mincemeat. The recipe comes from Karen Lee, formerly a baker
at Provender, a
take-out shop and bakery in Tiverton, Rhode Island. I
usually stop in and sit
down for coffee and pie or a muffin when I’m on
my way to Little Compton,
one of the most beautiful places on this
deep 9 1/2-inch pie; serves about 8
Pie Dough for a 2-crust pie
pounds (about 12) ripe pears (preferably Bosc
which have a firm, dry texture)
1/2 tablespoons orange liqueur,
orange juice, or Amaretto
1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup,
or more to taste
teaspoons grated orange zest
teaspoon ground cloves
cup walnut pieces
cup golden raisins
tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
tablespoons cold unsalted
butter, cut into pieces
egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon
water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F., with a rack in the lower third.
Divide the dough into 2 slightly unequal pieces. Roll out the larger piece
lightly floured surface to a large circle 1/8 inch thick. Fit it,
stretching, into a buttered, deep 9 1/2-inch pie pan. Trim the
leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Roll out the remaining dough and
it to a foil-lined baking sheet. Chill the doughs while you
Peel, halve and core the pears; cut into coarse chunks, letting the
fall into a large bowl. You should have about 6 cups. Add the
liqueur, orange juice or Amaretto, the maple syrup, orange zest,
walnuts, raisins and tapioca. Toss gently to combine ingredients.
the filling in the pie shell, mounding it in the center. Dot with
3. Brush the edge of the pie crust with the egg wash. Loosely drape
remaining dough over the filling. Trim off the excess pastry, leaving
3/4-inch border. Turn the edges of the top crust under the edges of the
bottom crust, leaving a smooth border on the rim of the pie pan. Crimp
flute the border. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Make
slashes in the top of the dough.
4. Place the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the crust is
golden brown and the juices begin to bubble up, about 50 minutes.
5. Cool the pie on a wire rack. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.
More from Richard Sax:
All-Time-Best Summer Fruit Torte
Almond Brittle Cookies
Chocolate Silk Bread Pudding
Gingerbread, Marie's Rich, with
Candied Ginger and Lemon Glaze
Lemon Tart, World's Best
Featured Archive Recipes:
Pear and Almond Tart
Poached Pear and Brown Butter
Tart )Chef John Besh)
A Profusions of Pears
Index - Pie Recipe Archives
Basic Pie Crust Recipes
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