Author Notes: This pie was created on a whim when I found a very ripe pear in my fruit bowl that was begging to be baked into something delicious. Coincidentally, I was also trying to find a reason to make a batch of frangipane. I found a quick and easy frangipane recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Vanilla Garlic, and have made it many times this summer. I put the pie together and brought it to some friends. Thankfully, they let me have a slice, so I can tell you how yummy it is. Pears and almonds are quite decadent together.
I have to note that I call this pie "Ugly Pie." I mean, it's so...brown. And monochromatically brown, at that. Thank heavens it tastes good!
Makes one 9 inch pie
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chilled vegetable shortening
- 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
- 3 ounces almond paste, crumbled
- 1 small handful almonds, chopped (about one ounce)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 medium sized Bartlett pear
- Make the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Sift flour and salt together, then cut in half of the shortening and butter until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Cut the remaining half of the shortening and butter into the dough until pea-sized chunks form. Add ice water and mix until the dough holds together. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
- Make the frangipane: Combine almond paste, chopped almonds, sugar, flour, and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix until the dough looks sandy. Add the butter and process until smooth, then add the egg and extracts and process until smooth.
- Prebake the pie crust: Roll out the chilled pie crust and fit it into a 9 inch pie plate. Dock the crust multiple times with a fork. Line the crust with foil, fill it with pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for and additional 5-10 minutes, until the crust is golden. Let cool.
- Assemble and bake the pie: Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pour the frangipane into the cooled crust. Slice the pear into 1/2 inch wedges. You can peel the pear if you don't want your pie to be as ugly as the one pictured! Nestle the pears thin side down into the frangipane, fitting as many wedges in as you can. Bake for 30 minutes, until the frangipane is golden brown. Cool and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pears