Ginger Asian Pear Pie

Hi, my name is Christina, and I hate ginger. Well, hate is a strong word. I just dislike its soapy flavor when in excessive amounts. I still use it when I make Asian foods or put it into my pumpkin pie. I’ve even come to love ginger snaps ( especially when paired with ice cream and caramel.) But I just hate biting into large chunks of it or when it dominates my palate. For this, John calls me, “The Worst. Asian. Ever.”

And perhaps that title is also earned to a certain degree since I hate Asian pears. I just don’t like the super grainy texture (as opposed to the slightly grainy but still soft flesh of a regular pear) and frankly, I just don’t think they have much flavor. The juice is refreshing… but for the lack of flavor, I might as well drink water.

Nonetheless, I put these two items together in homage to a delicious ginger, maple, pear pie recipe that I once made from Simply Recipes (see blog roll.) I sincerely believe that like all loves and hates in life, there are outliers– in this case, combining two ingredients that I strongly dislike resulted in something that I loved! The Asian pears were great for baking because they kept a firm texture in the pie filling. The maple syrup and brown sugar I used in the filling helped caramelize the pears and the ginger (and I used a lot here!) added a spicy zing that woke this pie up. Lastly, the streusel topping, made with slivered almonds, was crunchy and buttery, rounding off all the flavors. If you’re looking for an alternative to the pecan v. pumpkin v. apple pie debate for your Thanksgiving meal, you might consider giving this pie a shot as your new holiday dessert!

Filling:

  • 1 lb Asian pears, cored and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (or less if pears are sweet)
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • lemon juice to taste

Streusel Topping:

  • 3 tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 3-6 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp minced candied ginger
  • dash of cinnamon

Roll out pie dough and set in a 9 inch pie plate. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Let sit for 15 minutes. While that’s resting, combine the streusel ingredients in a medium bowl and using your fingers, pinch together the ingredients until you get a crumbly mixture.

Pour filling into pie dough, just heap it up in there. Crumble your streusel topping so it covers the filling. Bake for 40 minutes or until the streusel is browned. Cool to room temperature before eating. I bet this would be fabulous with some sweetened creme fraiche or you can use plain whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you want.

CSA Count: 1

Asian pears

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