Recipe: French Pear Pie with Crumb Topping
I love pear pie. I grew up eating it every fall when the pears were ripe off our tree. I’m not sure why it is not our national pie over apple. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good apple pie. But there’s something about the sweet and strong flavor or ripe pears that makes Pear Pie truly exceptional. And this recipe takes it to a whole new level with ground ginger and a crunchy crumb topping. Delicious!
I was first introduced to today’s recipe from a neighbor of mine, a sweet little grandmother who figured that her single bachelor neighbor would enjoy a tasty little pear pie left on his doorstep. Well she was right, and I quickly asked her for the recipe. I’ve modified it a bit. I hope you enjoy it this year with your other Thanksgiving pies.
How to Make French Pear Pie
Prepare a pie crust, place in a 9-inch pie pan, and place in refrigerator to cool.
Make the crumb topping that will top the pie. For this you will need:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
Mix flour and brown sugar together in a bowl.
Add melted butter and stir to combine. This will result in a gooey dough. Set aside.
Next, make the pear pie filling:
- 6 cups sliced, peeled and cored ripe pears (Bartletts are my favorite)
- juice of one lemon
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons minute tapioca or 1/2 cup flour
- pinch of salt
Place pears in a mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently to coat the pears, being careful not to break the pear slices.
*Choosing tapioca or flour is totally up to you. Both will thicken the pie juices as the pie cools. However, tapioca will result in a clear thickening, while the flour will result in a more creamy textured and colored thickening. Both are good, so use which ever you prefer or have on hand.
Place the pear filling in the prepared 9 inch pie pan/crust, pressing pears out to the outer edges.
Add crumb topping by pinching small amounts at a time into your hand and rubbing your hands together, allowing the crumb pieces to fall through your fingers. Some will be larger than others. This is OK, as the crumb topping texture you’re going for is almost like little cookies.
Sprinkle the entire pie with cinnamon, maybe a 1/2 teaspoon.
Place into a 450° oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350° and bake for an additional 35 minutes.
Allow pie to cool completely before serving to allow the juices to set.
Recipe by Jothan Yeager, September 2011
The Bald Gourmet makes delicious pies, including French Pear Pie.