Pear Pie is unbelievably delicious and destined to become a new thanksgiving Tradition!
This Pear Pie is wonderfully simple to make and has been a family favorite for years! It’s bursting with tender, juicy sweet pears enveloped in a rich and creamy 3-minute custard all topped with a simple, crunchy crumb topping. Once you taste this Pear Pie, you will never want to live without it!
This post is sponsored by Sugar In The Raw®. All opinions are my own.
Pear Pie recipe
I am SO excited to bring you this Pear Pie recipe! If you already love Pear Pie, you will love this version and if you’ve never had the pleasure of sinking your teeth into Pear Pie, I am ecstatic to introduce you!
I had never tasted the indulgent sweet, creamy pleasure that is Pear Pie until I joined the Sattley family. My mother-in-law served up this family treasure our first Thanksgiving as a married couple (and every Thanksgiving since), and I instantly fell in love. I understood at first bite why this was everyone’s favorite pie, and I knew it was going to become part of our own family tradition as well. It belonged at every future Thanksgiving and Christmas – and every excuse in between.
The Pear Pie recipe I share with you today is an adaptation of my mother-in-law’s recipe that she discovered in a local St. Louis newspaper in 1972. The Pear Pie recipe begins with an unbaked pie shell. You then toss thinly slice pears with lemon juice (to keep them from browning even after baked) and layer them in the pie shell. You then whisk together a custard-like filling of eggs, Sugar In The Raw®, butter, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and pour it over the pears.
This mixture seeps into the nooks and crannies of the pears and bakes up into a creamy custard-like consistency which essentially binds the pears together. It’s rich, silky, creamy magic.
Finally, the Pear Pie is topped with an easy crumb topping that can be whipped together in minutes in your food processor. Part of it melts into the pears and the rest adds a satisfying contrasting crunch to the creamy pie.
In the end, you’re left with Pear Pie loaded with sweet, ripe pear flavor, enveloped in creamy custard and topped with crunchy delight – and a new family favorite Thanksgiving tradition!
THE BEST PIE CRUST FOR PEAR PIE
This Pear Pie recipe calls for a traditional unbaked pie pastry shell because the pears and custard are quite wet. A Graham cracker crust will become too soggy. Instead, I suggest my Homemade Pie Crust recipe. It is a perfected easy, no-fail recipe with step by step photos, tips and tricks that will deliver the perfect homemade pie crust even if you’ve never made pie crust before! It’s beautifully buttery, tender, flaky and can be made up to 5 days ahead of time.
Of course, you can also use your favorite pie crust recipe or a refrigerated, premade pie dough shell.
The BEST Pears for Pie
What type of pears should I use?
The best pears for Pear Pie are ripe Bartlett’s or Anjou, pears. This time around I used Bartlett pears and they were fantastic! You will want to avoid Comice pears as they can become mushy.
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY PEARS ARE RIPE?
We want to use pears that are ripe for maximum sweetness and flavor but not overly ripe or they will get mushy. Ripe pears should yield slightly when pressed – much like an avocado or mango. Please do not use hard, unripe pears or your pears won’t soften in the allotted baking time and won’t be as sweet or flavorful.
I will typically purchase my pears 5-7 days before I’m ready to make my Pear Pie and let them ripen on the counter so they are ready when I make the pie. If your pears are ripening quicker than you would like, then place it in the refrigerator to delay the process. I also suggest purchasing a couple extra pears just in case some ripen quicker than others and develop soft spots.
HOW TO RIPEN PEARS QUICKLY?
If you find yourself ready to make this Pear Pie in a couple days but your pears are still rock hard, you can speed up the ripening process by placing them in a paper bag with an apple or banana at room temperature.
How to slice pears for Pear Pie
When ready to make the Pear Pie, peel the pears, then slice them into ¼” slices. You’ll then toss them in some lemon juice while you whip up the custard – do not skip this step! The lemon juice balances the sweetness of the pie and also prevents the pears from browning which keeps your Pear Pie looking beautiful after it’s sliced into.
The pears soften in the baking process, emerging buttery tender as their juices mingle with the custard. Their silky tender-crisp texture will make you swoon!
Ingredients for Pear Pie Custard
In addition to the pears, the custard is the other star of the show. It is made with:
- eggs: 2 medium eggs will do the trick. They will whisk together more easily if at room temperature.
- Sugar In The Raw®: is a Turbinado sugar made from 100% natural, non-GMO sugar cane. The natural molasses in the crystals produces a delicious taste, hearty texture and natural golden color.
- butter: use unsalted butter so we can control the salt. The butter should be fully melted but slightly cooled so it doesn’t scramble the eggs.
- flour: I use all-purpose flour but other flours that will also thicken the custard will work.
- vanilla: use high quality vanilla for the best flavor.
- spices: baking needs seasonings too! Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt infuse the Pear Pie with flavor.
Sugar in the Raw
I’ve made this Pear Pie with granulated sugar, brown sugar and Sugar In The Raw®, and it was hand’s down better with Sugar In The Raw! Like most things, it makes everything better!
If you aren’t familiar Sugar In The Raw®, the number one brand of Turbinado raw sugar, let me introduce you! Sugar In The Raw is made exclusively from natural sugarcane, grown in the tropics. The hearty, golden crystals are never bleached, so they keep the rich flavor and color of their natural molasses, essentially infusing everything they grace with a depth of flavor.
You can bake with Sugar In The Raw (1 to 1 substitute for any sugar), cook with it, sprinkle it over cereal, fruit, pancakes, waffles, French toast, or use as a topping on muffins, cookies, cakes, etc.
You can find Sugar In The Raw in most grocers, however, to find the closest retailer near you, visit the store locator page: www.intheraw.com/shop/find-a-store/.
You will love this addition to your pantry!
How to Make Pear Pie
Step 1: Make Pie Shell
- Place flour, sugar and salt in food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix (If mixing by hand, place ingredients in a large bowl). Add chilled shortening and cold butter. Pulse 8-10 times, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs and most of the butter is the size of peas with a few larger pieces. (If mixing by hand, cut butter and shortening into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or 2 forks.)
- With the machine running, pour 1/4 cup (NO MORE) chilled water down the feed tube then pulse just until the dough is moistened and sticks together. (If mixing by hand, sprinkle water over mixture and fold in using a rubber spatula.)
- Take care to handle the dough as little as possible in this step and the following. Dump dough out onto prepared parchment paper and press together until it sticks together into a ball, adding up to one additional tablespoon water if dough will not come together.
- Press dough into an even disc, about 8” around (it does not need to be perfect). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to 2 days (best if overnight).
- Roll dough out onto parchment paper, rolling from the center to the edges to form a 12” circle.
- Remove top piece of parchment. Place your dominant hand under the dough and hold the pie plate with your other hand on top. Quickly flip the pie plate over in order to place the dough into the pie pan, parchment side up (see above photos). Before removing parchment, press dough evenly into pie pan. Remove parchment and smooth dough up the sides of pie pan. Cut off any overhanging dough around the edges.
- Flute the edges or create whatever edge design you prefer. Immediately cover the pie with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Step 2: Toss Pears with Lemon Juice
- Peel and slice pears ¼” thick.
- Add pears to a large bowl.
- Toss with lemon juice and let rest while you make the rest of the filling.
Step 3: Make Custard
Add eggs to a medium bowl and lightly beat. Mix in Sugar in the Raw, butter, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
Step 4: Layer Pie
- Remove pears with a slotted spoon and arrange in the unbaked pie shell. You don’t have to use all of the pears if your shell becomes too full. You don’t have to worry about making a pretty design with the pears because it is going to be covered with the crumb topping.
- Vigorously beat egg mixture by hand until frothy then evenly pour over pears. Spread it around with a spatula so it slinks in between some of the pear slices. The rest of the custard sitting on top of the pie will melt in between the pears while it bakes.
Step 5: Bake Pear Pie
Bake Pear Pie at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Step 6: How to Make Streusel
You can either use a bowl or food processor to make the topping.
- If using a bowl: add all of the topping ingredients to a large bowl (using chopped pecans) and mix with two forks or a pastry cutter.
- If using a food processor: add pecans to food processor and pulse 3 times. Add all remaining ingredients except butter and pulse a couple times to combine. Top with butter and pulse until it resembles small pebbles.
Step 7: Add topping and Bake again
- After pie has been baking 15 minutes, carefully remove it from the oven and sprinkle evenly with topping.
- Return pie to the oven and bake an additional 45 minutes (for a total of 60 minutes).
Step 8: Cool Pear Pie
- Allow the Pear Pie to rest for at least two hours before slicing into. This allows time for the custard to set.
Can I Make Pear Pie Ahead of time?
There are a few ways to make Pear Pie ahead of time:
- Pie shell: can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Custard: can be whisked together, tightly covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Make sure you beat it again before using.
- Streusel: can be made three days ahead of time, transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated until ready to use.
- Make entire pie: this Pear Pie tastes fantastic the next day! Bake pie according to directions, let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.
How do I store Pear Pie?
- Pear Pie should be allowed to cool completely at room temperature.
- Once cool, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Refrigerated Pear Pie is good for 3-4 days.
Can I freeze Pear pie?
I do not suggest freezing Pear Pie as it contains both custard and fruit. When custard and fruit thaw out, they tend to be watery and no longer the creamy Pear Pie we love.
Looking for more Holiday Desserts recipes?
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- Apple Crisp
- Apple Dumplings
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
- Chocolate Pecan Bars
- Mud Pie
- Mini Caramel Apple Pies
- S’mores Pie
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
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