I’v never made a pear pie before. Actually, have I ever made anything of pears before? Didn’t think so. How strange is that? I mean, how many apple pies and cakes haven’t I made throughout the years? Not once did I think of doing that to pears. That’s unfair. I’ve totally neglected them, it didn’t even occur to me to involve pears in baking until now. And why now, you might ask? Well, I normally don’t eat pears either, because they soften too easily and I like them real hard and crunchy. But a few weeks ago, I was given a really good pear, and I remembered how tasteful it can be. Since then I’ve bought more and more, as they seem to be in season somewhere in the world. But I don’t have practice in storing them, (in the fridge, maybe?) so some of them turned soft and mellow, and that seemed like an invitation for me to finally let the pears enter baking. So after some surfing on the net I came across a cute blog called milkeggsandchocolate with a nice pear pie recipe I wanted to try. It was even sugar free!
Ingredients: (serves 4 pie lovers)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
100 g butter
8 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar – or plain apple juice
1/3 cup of agave nectar (or apple/pear juice)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cardamom
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Blend the flour, salt and butter until coarse meal forms. Add the water and vinegar/juice, until the dough moistens and you can shape it. Add more if it seems too dry. Gather it together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When the dough has chilled, roll out the crust on lightly floured surface and transfer to 25 cm/9-inch-diameter pie dish. Combine 1 soft pear, cardamom, agave nectar/apple juice, vanilla seeds, vanilla extract and flour in large bowl. Blend well in a food processor, and pour into the pie crust. Slice the rest of the pears thinly and lay them prettily onto the vanilla-cardamom filling. And if you feel the urge – sprinkle with just a little sugar… Bake at 200 degrees C, for 40 minutes. And it turns out something like this.
I made some adjustments to the original recipe: I tried to make the recipe smaller, since there are only two of us, and without the top crust. I also substituted the vinegar with apple juice, the same with agave nectar. I don’t even know what that is! And I mashed one of the pears into the filling, and sliced the rest thinly and laid them on top. And ok. I added sugar. What can I say, I have a sweet tooth! But only a couple of teaspoons. So I still consider this to be quite healthy. And quite yummy too, it turned out! The flavours of cardamom, vanilla and pear blended together so wonderfully, nothing else was needed. I was a little afraid it wasn’t going to be sweet enough, but it was plenty sweet. I could easily have left out the sugar, but it looks cute with a drizzle of sugar on top anyway. I’ll definetely start experimenting more with pears. Let this be a lesson kids! Don’t forget the pears!