Pear and Chestnut Pie

November 16, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Skye McAlpine
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

Simple, festive and a little out of the ordinary, this is the perfect dessert to bring to a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner party. —Skye | From My Dining Table

What You'll Need
  • For the dough:
  • 375 grams all-purpose flour
  • 125 grams confectioners' sugar
  • 125 grams butter, chilled
  • 2 eggs
  • For the filling:
  • 250 grams sweetened chestnut purée
  • 4 pears
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon superfine (caster) sugar
  1. To make the pastry, start by sifting the flour and confectioners' sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Then roughly chop the butter into cubes and toss them into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that feels like coarse sand. Try to work quickly here, so that it doesn’t become greasy, and keep rubbing until there are no large clumps of butter remaining.
  3. Crack the eggs into the bowl and use your hands to bring the dough together, working it gently until it becomes smooth and pliable. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as this will make the pastry tough.
  4. Roll the pastry into a ball, wrap in greaseproof paper, and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Grease a 10-inch (25-centimeter) wide pie dish. Divide the pastry into two chunks (one of roughly 1/3 and the other 2/3)
  6. Lightly dust the kitchen work surface with flour and roll out the larger chunk of chilled dough to roughly 1/8-inch (1/2-centimeter) thick, before carefully draping it over the dish. Leave the rest of the dough to rest in the fridge.
  7. Gently ease the draped dough into the nooks and crannies of its pan and leave a little overhang over the edges. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork, then cover with greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for another 15 to 20 minutes. This will help stop the pastry from shrinking down when you bake it.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
  9. Weigh down the greaseproof paper with baking beans (or pie weights or uncooked rice) and blind bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the pastry begin to brown slightly and the bottom cooks a little.
  10. Meanwhile, slice the pears and set them to one side. Then roll out the rest of the pastry and use a cookie cutter to cut it into small leaf shapes.
  11. Take the pastry out of the oven, discard the greaseproof paper, and spoon the chestnut purée into the pie. Spread evenly and top with the pears.
  12. Arrange the pastry leaf shapes around the edge of the pie, so that they overlap with the crust.
  13. Using a pastry brush, lightly glaze the pastry leaves with the egg, and sprinkle with the superfine sugar.
  14. Set the pie in the oven and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until golden on top.
  15. Spoon away any excess juices from the pears and serve warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Skye | From My Dining Table
    Skye | From My Dining Table
  • Laura Maraio
    Laura Maraio
  • Andrea Krakora
    Andrea Krakora

5 Reviews

Laura M. November 22, 2015
This was a terrible and disappointing recipe. The pears do not even remotely breakdown in 20 minutes and the crust is completely flavorless. I think with a whole lot of changes this could be workable but I do not recommend making this as is.
Skye |. November 23, 2015
Hi Laura, I'm so sorry that you didn't enjoy the pie! The texture of the pears depends in large part on how ripe the fruit you use is and on how finely you slice it. I find that if I bake the pears for much longer than 20 mins they give off a lot of liquid, which can make the pie soggy. I also quite like a little crunch to the fruit - but that's a very personal thing! Sorry to hear that you don't like the pie crust - it is a favourite of mine that I use for a lot of my sweet tarts and pies. Would love if you have a favourite pie crust recipe to share? Hope that you have a lovely Thanksgiving! Xx
Laura M. November 23, 2015
The pears were thinly sliced and they were barely warm after 20 minutes and had given off no juice at all. My pears were pretty ripe. I was surprised at the lack of salt in this recipe and that the dough has no thickness listed in the instructions. The crust was practically a sugar cookie. My go to crust is actually this one by ElsenEM. I do think this is a great idea however and I'm excited to work on fleshing it out. Thank you for replying! :-)
Andrea K. November 21, 2015
Would love to make this since it's different but there are NO directions for the chestnut puree Am I to assume that this is a ready made product for purchase, if so where can it be had? Thanks, Andrea [email protected]
Skye |. November 23, 2015
Hi Andrea, I buy the chestnut puree from Whole Foods - it comes in little tins and lasts forever (just make sure that you buy the sweetened puree, not the plain one). Otherwise, you could try making your own by blending vacuum packed chestnuts with confectioners' sugar until you get a thick, sweet paste. Hope that helps a little and that you enjoy the pie! Xx