Poached Pear Pie

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Introduction: Poached Pear Pie

About: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!

A delicious, easy recipe for a downright classy dessert.

Step 1: Trim Pears

Select some nice, firm, just-ripe Bosc pears.

While other pears might do, the Bosc will hold up best to poaching, and still have some nice solidity after baking.

Peel and halve the pears, then use a paring knife to remove the seeds, stem, and any other damaged or woody bits you'd rather not eat.

Step 2: Prepare Poaching Liquid

Add twelve bags of your favorite green and/or herbal tea to six cups of water, and bring to a boil.

Let your tea steep according to the package directions, then squeeze and remove the bags. It's best not to leave green tea bags in too long, as they can impart a bitter flavor; herbal teas can usually be left as long as you like.

Add a cup of sugar, shavings of orange zest (just use a peeler on the outside of your favorite citrus), a couple of slices of ginger, and a sprinkle of whole spices. I added peppercorns, cinnamon, and whole cloves, but star anise, vanilla beans, and allspice are also great ideas.

Step 3: Poach Pears

Add the pears to the poaching liquid, and cook over low heat until the pears are just cooked through, and have taken on the color and flavor of the tea.

This should take 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of pears and the heat you use. Turn the pot off, and let the pears cool in the poaching liquid. They'll absorb even more tasty flavors.
You can store them this way overnight in the refrigerator, and put the pie together the next day.

Optional: cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to cover the surface of the pot. This will keep your pears submerged, and make sure all areas are properly infused with the tea mixture. This is a hold-over from poaching pears for direct presentation, intended to prevent uneven coloring and flavor uptake. In this case, just stirring periodically to relocate the pears should be sufficient.

Step 4: Chop and Add to Pie Shell

Grab your deep-dish pie pan, pre-lined with tasty homemade pie crust.

Snag the pears from the poaching liquid, and chop them into more reasonably-sized pieces. I cut each piece in half or thirds, but you may like more bite-sized chunks.

Remove the ginger and orange zest, mince, and sprinkle them over the pears.

Step 5: Reduce Poaching Liquid

Cook the poaching liquid down until you've got less than a cup of concentrated, flavorful syrupy goodness. (As you'll remember, we started with 6 cups- this is a significant reduction.)

Add a bit of vanilla (say, 1/3teaspoon) for flavor, whisk in a teaspoon of cornstarch, and pour about 1/2 cup of this mixture over the pear pie.

Save the rest for other pies, or use as a fantastic syrup for pancakes and waffles.

Step 6: Top, Bake, and Serve

Cover your pie with another layer of pie crust, crimp the edges, and cut a couple of steam vents.

Bake at 350 until cooked through and golden-brown on top, around 45 minutes. The insides will bubble up to let you know they're ready.

Brushing the top with milk or egg white near the end of the cook time will make it brown more nicely.

This pie serves MUCH more easily when cool, and the flavors are more subtle and interesting. Thus, if you can make the pie a day ahead of serving you should; more importantly, it means that this pie will taste even better for breakfast!

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    24 Discussions

    EPIC SAD FACE :~{ Why out of all the foods in the world, do I have to be allergic to PEARS!!!!

    Looks tasty and our pears are just ripening. I'm going to have to try this.

    I'd never heard of Bosc pears, but they look very similar to the Conference pear which is more common in the UK (and what our tree is).

    1 reply

    Mmmm. Thanks for reminding me I need to make this again as well!

    How did your pie go?

    Looks like you couldent resist eating some of it before you made this instructable, eh?

    Could the Green Tea be replaced by a red-wine or a port poaching liquid for those of us who love pears but have an adverse reaction to most tea?

    1 reply

    Definitely! That's the more traditional version of pear poaching. Check out Patrik's comment below.

    For a more traditional poached pear recipe, you could use red wine instead of tea. Since 'tis the Season, you could even use a recipe for mulled wine (ginger, orange zest, cloves, anise... sound familiar?) Needless to say, pears poached in red wine with a red wine reduction saucef orm a nicely decadent dessert by themselves as well.

    5 replies

    I was thinking of red wine poached pears as I was reading this, but it looks like I have been pipped to the post! We often do pears poached in wine with a few cloves, sugar and some cinnamon, which are decadent by themselves with a little cream. Might actually be too rich for pie though?!? MMM, now I am craving pie!

    I'd run into poached pears before, but figured modifying them for inclusion in pie would maintain the taste, with the added bonus of PIE! (Yes, I'm a big fan of pie.) I'm not a huge fan of mulled wine, thus the tea, but now I'm considering using mulled cider. Mmmmmm.

    Ah, but red wine gives you that beautiful glowing color! I'm curious why you're not a fan of mulled wine, considering you're using a very similar set of ingredients here (minus the wine, of course). Just not a big wine fan? For extra decadence, try poaching in a sweet red dessert wine, like madeira or even port. I wouldn't adulterate it with too many additional spices in that case.

    Exactly- just not a big wine fan. I prefer my fruit unfermented. I like the idea of poaching in port or madeira, though.

    Poaching in red wine would be very similar to poaching in port-I don't add any spices to the wine, just sugar when reducing it.

    Pears poached in red wine is *the* way to serve pears IMO. But the pie looks good; I bet poached pear crumble served with custard would be equally good.

    That's really a "to taste" question! The best I can do is provide a baseline then suggest you modify it according to your preferences. Thus, I'd suggest starting with your choices from the following: about a dozen peppercorns or allspice berries, a stick of cinnamon, half a dozen cloves, one or two pieces of star anise, and a vanilla bean. (Honestly I skip the vanilla bean, figuring the added vanilla at the end will do it.)