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Pear and Almond Pie

Pears always remind me of fall. It’s one of my favorite fruits, though it’s not so easy to have a really good pear in the right texture and sweetness. This is why I like combining pears into cakes and desserts.

This pie combines pears and almond cream. It’s a French classic and great served warm with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Pear and Almond Pie

Photo: Natalie Levin



Pear and Almond Pie

24 cm round pie pan

For the crust:
150 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
50 grams icing sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1-2 tbsp. cold water (as needed)

For the pears:
4 large ripe pears, halved and cored
100 grams sugar
200 ml. water
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
juice of 1/2 lemon
50 ml. white wine
Pinch ground nutmeg

For almond cream:
100 grams blanched almonds
100 grams sugar
100 grams cold butter cut into cubes
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp. amaretto liqueur
20 grams all-purpose flour

Decoration:
Slices blanched almonds
Sugar powder

Preparation:

  1. Crust: in a food processor with a steel blade put flour, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and process until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Add egg yolk and continue to process just until large clumps of dough form. If the dough is not setting, gradually add a little milk.
  3. Transfer the dough chunks on a lightly floured work surface and form a disc-shape with your hands.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface about 3-4 mm thick and line the pie pan. It is important to create a right angle between the sides and the base of the crust, which will ensure the edges remain high when baking.
  6. Using a fork create holes in the crust. Freeze the crust for about an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 170c degrees.
  8. Blind baking: put a sheet of heat-resistant plastic wrap or baking paper on the frozen crust and fill with dry beans or special weights for baking.
  9. Bake for about 12-14 minutes.
  10. Remove the weights and the plastic wrap and continue to bake the crust for about 4-5 minutes or until it is very lightly golden brown.
  11. Cool at room temperature.
  12. Pears: put a pot of water, sugar, vanilla bean, lemon juice, wine and nutmeg and heat until boiling syrup obtained.
  13. Add the pear halves into the syrup and cook for 20-30 minutes or until softened somewhat, but not completely soft.
  14. Drain the syrup and let cool completely before assembling the pie.
  15. Almond cream: in a food processor with a steel blade put almonds, sugar, butter, egg, egg yolk, amaretto and flour and blend until you get a thick cream.
  16. Spread the cream over the half-baked crust and arrange pear halves on it.\
  17. Sprinkle with sliced ​​almonds and bake at 170c degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the cream is set and golden.
  18. Cool completely at room temperature, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Notes:

  • You can use canned pears instead of cooking pears in order to save some time.
  • Instead of amaretto you can use brandy or rum.
Pear and Almond Pie

Photo: Natalie Levin

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