Comice pears work best, but almost any variety can be used. Toasting the walnuts imparts a deep nutty flavor that contrasts with the maple syrup.
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup ice water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled stick margarine or butter
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 large Comice pears (about 3 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
1 large egg
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 450°.
To prepare pastry, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1/3 cup flour and ice water, stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Combine 1 2/3 cups flour and salt in a bowl; cut in margarine and shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water mixture; toss with a fork until moist. Divide dough in half. Gently press each half of dough into a 4-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover with additional plastic wrap. Roll one half of dough, still covered, into an 12-inch circle; freeze 10 minutes. Roll other half of dough, still covered, into an 11-inch circle; freeze 10 minutes.
To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Combine lemon juice and pears in a medium bowl, and stir in syrup and vanilla. Stir pear mixture into sugar mixture. Remove 1 sheet of plastic wrap from the 12-inch circle, and fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray, allowing dough to extend over edge of plate. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Combine 2 teaspoons water and egg in a small bowl, and stir well with a whisk. Spoon pear mixture into prepared crust, and brush edges of piecrust lightly with egg mixture. Remove 1 sheet of plastic wrap from the 11-inch circle, and place on top of pear mixture. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Press edges of dough together; fold edges under, and flute.
Brush top and edges of pie with egg mixture. Place pie on a baking sheet; cut 5 (1-inch) slits into top of pastry using a sharp knife. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove pie from oven); bake an additional 45 minutes or until browned. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I consider myself a pretty good cook, but this thing just doesn't add up. I followed the recipe and my dough didn't really stick together into anything that could be rolled and even after putting more butter and eventually and egg it, it didn't make big enough circle I could use as a crust. I ended up using part of the top for the bottom and made a grid on the top of the pie.
But then, I had too much of the stuffing and it would overflow in the oven.
I'm just not happy with this one...
Wonderful tasty delicate pie!
I skipped the top crust - this pie is toooo pretty to cover up.
I arranged those pear slices in a wheel and tossed the nuts and all on top. I also tossed in an egg, added more syrup, doubled the nuts since I put it all a 10" crust.
The Thanksgiving crowded looooved it!
I might add some strips of citrus rind next time...
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