The Pie Academy’s Tailgate Pie of the Week: Week 5
Fair warning: the more time you spend here in the hallowed halls of The Pie Academy, the more pear pie recipes you are going to see. And that’s a promise I look forward to keeping.
In certain ways, I like pears and – by extension – pear pies even more than I do apples and apple pie. This may sound like heresy coming from the fellow who actually wrote the book on apple pie, but it’s true: I love their softness of flesh, their floral bouquet, and their juiciness. Even the shape is beautiful. What’s not to like?
I’ll often mix pears with apples in a pie, but an even bolder approach is to use all pears, the way I do here. As with apple pie, a bit of sugar, lemon juice and thickener are required and – beyond that – the matter of what to top it off with: a top crust or crumb crust?
The answer here is neither. I like both, but I prefer this option even more. For lack of a more precise term, I call the topping on this pear pie Almond Coffeecake and I’d be quite surprised if – once you make it – you thought the term was inaccurate. It’s dense, almond-crunchy, and buttery. But cake-like too, thanks to the egg and baking powder.
I’m less than credible in this regard, since I’ll eat pie anytime of day, but given the coffeecake link I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this fresh and still barely warm for a special brunch or even late breakfast. Don’t announce it, but have vanilla ice cream at the ready for the bold soul who speaks up and says “Wow! This is fabulous! But the one thing it’s missing….”
You’ll be a hero. And your guests won’t soon forget the bold baker who served pear pie and vanilla ice cream at noon.
PASTRY NOTE: Use any favorite pie dough recipe you like for the shell. My own preference is for the GOOD BASIC PIE DOUGH.