Poached pear pies, such a fun dessert to serve friends. I loved the shape of them.Jump to Recipe
The pears are poached with amaretto and honey and stuffed with marzipan, then they are covered in pastry and baked until golden.
We love to serve them warm with some salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
You can use chocolate or anything you fancy to stuff them with, i used marzipan to emphasise the almond flavour of the amaretto.
It was so fun to make them, i love to create creative pies, you can see some of them on my Instagram account here. Usually i make apple ones stuffed with raisins and brown sugar, based on some apple dumplings that my nan used to make.
she served them with caramel sauce so that is why i eat these in the same way.
Such a sweet dessert to end a meal. Because they are so sweet i add some salt to the caramel to balance it out a bit, they are also yummy with chocolate instead of marzipan.
Assembling the pear pies
They are easier to assemble than they look, but you need to be gentle and not stretch the dough as this can cause tension and cause them to crack when baking. Allow them to chill and rest before baking.
I used a mix of conference and bosc pears. The pears i used were very ripe. Poach them until they are soft, but not too soft as they will be baked and soften further.
Tips before you start
- I find it is best to poach the pears the night before and chill them in the fridge in the poaching liquid.
- You can poach them with any poaching recipe you like.
- When assembling the pears in the pastry, carefully drape the top layer of pastry over and try not to stretch it. Then shape it around the pear to form the pear shape. I find that rolling a larger piece of dough than you need will help with this, so that is why i have included a recipe for a large batch of dough. You can freeze any left over dough.
- Place the pies on a lined baking tray and cover them and chill them in the fridge before baking
- Make a few small holes around the edges to allow steam to escape
- To make the leaves place them on to the pears in a 3d shape, and you can add small balls of rolled up dough underneath so they keep their shape.
- Add some salt to the caramel sauce you use to balance the sweetness. You can make it or buy it.
- Use chocolate or Nutella if you dont like marzipan, or what ever you fancy.
- This works well with apples, or i have made peach ones see here
- For a Christmas version i poached apples and pears in mulled wine and stuffed them with mince pie filling. See the poaching recipe for that version here
- I used scales to weigh the ingredients in grams for the pastry rather than using cups. This was so i could share a more accurate recipe with you. Because egg sizes vary in different countries and some flour brands absorb liquid better than others i find this is the safest way for me to share it.
- They can be assembled in advance and left covered on a lined baking tray to chill in the fridge over night.
Poached pear pies
For the poached pears
- 4 Ripe pears like conference or bosc pears
- 250 ml Amaretto 1 cup
- 400 ml water
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean pod
- 440 g Plain flour
- 220 g cold unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp water as needed
- 1 beaten egg
- demerara sugar for sprinkling
- 100 grams marzipan
Poaching the pears
- Add the water, amaretto, sugar, lemon juice and honey in a pan. slice the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds and add those and the pod into the poaching liquid. (use a smaller pan so the liquid covers the pears)
- Peel the pears and add them into the liquid and simmer until tender. you want them to be soft, but not too soft. depending on how ripe they are it can take between 10-25 minutes until the pears begin to soften (as they will then be baked they dont need to be as soft as if you were serving them on their own) Very overly ripe pears will take around 10 minutes, otherwise it will take closer to 25 minutes for whole pears. Leaving them to cool in the poaching liquid means they will continue to cook slightly.
- Leave the pears to cool down completely, These can be made in advance and left to chill in the poaching liquid over night in the fridge. Chilling them in the poaching liquid over night in the fridge means it will also infuse them with more flavour.Alternatively if making on the same day, remove from the liquid and chill on a plate until cold.
Make the pastry
- Mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour until it resembles a fine crumb. Add the eggs and mix in. Then add the water a bit at a time until it makes a soft dough. depending on the size of the eggs and the brand of your flour you may need to add more, so judge it and add as much as needed until the dough comes together into a soft dough. I will be around 1 or 2 tbsp.
- Press the dough into a large flat disk and cover in plastic wrap and chill. See step by step assembly photos in the post above
- Slice the pears in half and remove the cores with a spoon. Roll small balls of marzipan and add these into the holes.
- Cut the dough into four, Roll out one portion of the dough and place one of the pear halves on top to one side. (see images)Cut around the pear leaving a small lip around the edge. brush around the edge with a beaten egg then cut a larger piece of pastry to cover the top. Drape the pastry over gently with out stretching it and press it around the pear. Cut around the edge leaving a small lip of pastry, turn pears over and gently tuck the the lip underneath so you can't see it. (see assembly photos above)
- Make some leaves by rolling out some more pastry and cutting it with a knife or a cookie cutter. Then make a stem and attach it. My tip to shape the leaves in a way that they dont fall flat in the oven is to roll up small balls of dough and add them underneath the leaf.
- Chill covered on a lined tray in the fridge for least 30 minutes to rest. Longer if you wish.
- Pre heat the oven to 180c 350f
- Brush with beaten egg and make a some small air holes around the edge. sprinkle some demerara sugar and bake for approx. 35 minutes or until golden. Some may crack, I found that the ones that had time to rest in the fridge and had a few little air holes to allow the steam to escape didn't.
- Serve with warm caramel sauce and ice cream. you can use store brought caramel sauce and heat it in a pan, or make your own.