Poached Pear with Pecan Streusel Pie

Feb 7th, 2012 | By | Category: baking and desserts, cook something
Anjou pears, photo courtesy of  Rynosoft

Anjou pears, photo courtesy of Rynosoft

This pie comes from Benjamin Baker, Executive Chef at Travaasa Austin. It’s something he recently developed, and if he does say so himself, “It is pretty yummy.”

Looking at the recipe, we don’t doubt that assessment for a second.

For the crust:

  • 1 cup – All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp – salt
  • 1/4 pound – unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup ice water (you will not probably not need to use all of the water)

Directions:

  1. Mix your salt and flour together in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Take your butter straight from the refrigerator and grate directly into your flour mixture (I use a cheese grater).
  3. Working quickly, distribute your butter evenly throughout your flour mixture breaking the bits up with your finger tips.
  4. Dribble some iced water around the edge of your flour mixture, and rake the moisture in with your fingertips.
  5. You will probably need to do this twice to get the desired consistency.
  6. Once the mixture begins to pull together, pack the mixture into a rough spherical shape.
  7. It will seem a little dry a first, but packing it into a sphere will help the moist areas cling to the drier ones.
  8. I like to pack it together to avoid over mixing and developing the gluten in the flour.
  9. Allow to rest for about five minutes.
  10. Roll and place in pie tin.
  11. Line the inside of your crust with foil, and fill with dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees with the foil in, and 10 minutes with the foil out to set the pie crust.

For the filling:

  • 8 – medium sized Anjou Pears
  • 7 – whole cloves
  • 2 – pieces of fresh ginger (about the size of your thumb)
  • 3/4 cup – sugar, or Agave Nectar
  • red wine (enough to cover the Pears)

Directions:

  1. Peel pears, place in a medium sized sauce pot, and cover with red wine (although some may disagree, I don’t think that there is a problem with using an inexpensive wine).
  2. Add the cloves, sweetener, and ginger.
  3. Allow the pears to poach until they are soft (let them poach just below a simmer)
  4. Once pears are soft, pull them out of the liquid, and let them drain on a rack or paper towel.
  5. Strain the ginger and cloves from your poaching liquid.
  6. Reduce your poaching liquid until it becomes syrupy.
  7. Cut pears in half, and remove core with a melon-baller, or a stainless measuring tablespoon will do.
  8. Slice pears crosswise and lay into pre-baked pie crust.
  9. Drizzle enough of the reduced wine over the sliced pears to add some moisture.

For the Streusel:

  • 1 1/2 cups – All purpose flour
  • 1 cup – cold butter
  • 1 cup – sugar
  • 1/2 cup Pecans

Directions:

  1. In a food processor pulse the pecans with the sugar and flour.
  2. Cut the butter into pieces, and add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Pulse until it becomes a crumbly mix.
  4. Top the pear filling with the streusel.
  5. Place pie in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until pears have heated through, and streusel has browned.
  7. Allow to rest out of the oven. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or freshly whipped cream.
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